Announcing Collaborative Organizer Lena K. Gardner

We are thrilled to let you know that prominent leader in both Black Lives of UU (BLUU) and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Lena K. Gardner, will be joining our Standing on the Side of Love organizing team part-time in 2016 and 2017 as our 'Collaborative Organizer'. This work is part of deepening our collaborative work with Church of the Larger Fellowship and BLUU. Lena brings a great deal of commitment, heart, humility, and integrity to this work. 

As many of you know, I am deeply committed to the supporting of key organizers as they develop, collaborative practice between groups in justice work, and organizing with (and alongside) people directly affected by oppression and injustice. In a moment where many forces of power would work to turn people of faith against the Movement for Black Lives, our steadfast and steady commitment to accompany, support and fortify the Black Lives Matter movement must be stronger than ever. That sounds like big work. It is.

When I think about how I can be of service in this work, I always break it down into concrete steps. I can offer tools to people in local communities who want to do social justice work. I can listen to movement leaders and help them accomplish the goals they name. I can train and accompany newer leaders on their journey. I can help invite new people into this work, help movement veterans stay in, and connect people to each other. These are things many of us can do if we are willing, humble, and acting collaboratively and collectively. 

For Standing on the Side of Love, working with an organizer who is working across different organizations has its challenges. But the possibilities and rewards are far deeper. Collaborative work strengthens our understanding of the terrain of social justice work, and builds the relationships between leaders and groups that are the life blood of social movements. It strengthens our practice of working with SSL's broader constituencies by learning from different parts of our communities. Finally, it allows our impact to be greater and more effective by helping us move further into alignment in the larger work in front of us. Please learn more about Lena and her great work here, if you do not know her already. We will continue to be in touch about our exciting work together this Fall.

In gratitude,

Caitlin Breedlove

Campaign Director, Standing on the Side of Love