I want to talk about Spirit. Because Catalyst is not afraid of Spirit. And the Braden leadership team is not afraid of Spirit. The Spirit of resistance. The Spirit of liberation. The Spirit of history. The Spirit of vision. The Spirit of imagining a world free of domination and oppression. And they brought this Spirit into the Braden Program every week by bringing their whole selves to the space—their realness, their imperfection, their humbleness. And in this way, they opened up the space for the rest of us to bring our whole selves to the program, to our work, to our movements.
Uruguayan poet Eduardo Galeano said that one of the biggest challenges we face in this historic moment is “…a culture of impotence, …a culture [that says and repeats], ‘You can’t.’ ‘You can’t walk with your own legs. You are not able to think with your own head. You cannot feel with your own heart…’”
And while I think that what this quote is talking about speaks differently to different people, I think we all struggle with living our own possibility. Being part of this process, where people brought more and more of themselves to the space from week to week, for me, was nothing short of a collective reassembling of our full selves, of our belief in our collective strength; to believe we can walk with our own legs, think with our own heads and feel with our own hearts.
And I just want to appreciate everyone here, everyone who made this program possible and brought so much spirit and strength into our collective work and possibility.