We Must Breathe, and Then Push

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A dark week, a dark time. For solace, hear Valarie Kaur, Sikh activist, filmmaker, lawyer, mother and founder of Groundswell Movement, the country's largest multifaith organizing community, rise to the grievous occasion in a shattering speech to welcome the new year. Kaur was speaking at a Watch Night service at D.C.'s Metropolitan AME Church, where Rev. William Barber and other social activists were calling for a new Poor People's Campaign as part of a national moral revival.

The campaign, including Barber's Repairers of the Breach, seeks to unite progressives of all faiths (or none) to work on the “four horsemen” of poverty, racism, militarism and ecological damage plus voting rights and healthcare - and to make accountable the current God-awful political leaders who will likely fail to do so. In her speech, Kaur movingly told stories from her life - her grandfather imprisoned for his faith and other-ness, her fears about "raising a brown boy in America," her fervent imagining of the story of America as "one long labor," with a finer country "waiting to be born." Let it be so.

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