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Saying Yes

Grateful to bring you our next installment in our bi-weekly messages with a prayer, an ancestor and a song speaking to our spirits. We hope these resources may offer what we need in order to be courageously, steadily, humbly, on the side of love. One ancestor to lean on, one prayer for our messy lives, and one song to strengthen and soothe.

ANCESTOR

Mary White Ovington (April 11, 1865- July 15, 1951) was a suffragette, socialist, Unitarian, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP. Ovington was a white civil rights advocate and organizer who worked to address racial discrimination within housing and employment in New York City, work that led her into relationship with prominent Black civil rights organizers including leaders of the Niagara Movement and WEB Du Bois. Her work in support of and alongside many others would eventually lead to the founding of the permanent body known as the NAACP. Its early members included Josephine Ruffin, Mary Talbert, Mary Church Terrell, Inez Milholland, Jane Addams, George Henry White, Charles Edward Russell, John Dewey, Charles Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Fanny Garrison Villard, Oswald Garrison Villard and Ida Wells-Barnett. Ovington would go on to serve in various leadership capacities at the NAACP throughout her time while also authoring numerous books. Read more about her work here.

May we be relentless in our work for growth - for ourselves and each other. Like Ovington, may we continue to strengthen our study coupled with praxis, building relationships with those with whom we share a vision of the world we are building. May we honor the contributions and legacy of those who came before.

PRAYER

Prayer for Saying Yes

I know I need to say no sometimes. 
I know I need to honor boundaries. To put my phone on airplane mode or send the request for emotional labor back return to sender
Saying no let’s me eat and sleep and be self-determined and practice faith that someone else can do it. 
And also, it turns out there is nothing more powerful than a yes that we mean. 
When I haven’t seen you in a while and we have some tension and you ask me to tea - 
And I say yes.
When that task in the meeting needs to be done and I know I can do it realllllly well- 
And I say yes.
When someone needs a letter or a ride or a meal or a door knock - 
And I say yes. 
So often the gap is clear. 
We know from the crowdfunding campaign, the email, the text, our own gut. 
The best yeses are hard because they ask something of us. 
The best yeses are easy because they let us be who we’ve always said we would be.
And I say yes.
 

SONG

It's an oldie but a goodie. We couldn't help but share Floetry's classic Say Yes as our song for the week. All you got to do is say yes!

Thinking of you,

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Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen,  Ministry Associate for Youth and Young Adults of Color and Spiritual Sustenance Advisor, Standing on the Side of Love

Nora Rasman, Campaign Manager, Standing on the Side of Love

P.S. ICYMI: We announced Elizabeth is joining the Campaign full time starting November 15 as the Senior Strategist. See the announcement here.