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  • Writer's pictureJustin Mendoza

Standing in Solidarity and Stillness

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Self-care is an integral part of social justice work

During the first class in my masters program, 'The History of Social Movements', Occupy Wall Street emerged and inspired me to listen, grow, and commit to fighting for social and economic justice. As I continued my work as an activist and social work graduate student, I learned how the causes I am passionate about were interconnected. Not only is the LGBTQ+ community bound within those interlocking systems of oppression, but because our broad diversity encompasses all races, classes, and abilities, these causes are our causes as well.

I posted previously about some feelings of guilt with prioritizing my self-care through pandemic and found this coming up for me again with not having capacity currently to be as vocal and visible in my support of Black Lives Matter. Recently a client expressed a similar sentiment even though they were contributing in various ways, and this reminded me I had also learned that in order for movements and activists to be sustainable, self-care is necessary to do this work. We can find ways to contribute to and support a cause while honoring our limitations, because often to take care of one another, we need to make sure we're taking care of ourselves.

It can also be helpful to not let the space we may need at times to be confused with silence, and to let others know that though we may not always be able to stand with them in the streets, we always stand with them in solidarity.

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