This act for me meant, yes, we will support each other with what we have. Yes, it is not enough, but we will not turn away from each other. Yes, so much has been taken from us, but still we give. In this simple act, there was rage, there was acceptance, there was pain, there was power.
Over and over in disasters, we see that the first responders are neighbors. To me what showed up was that we are complete, we are enough, we are what we need. How much could we do if communities were listened to, that when we ask for what we need something else entirely wasn't forced upon us? How much more could we be if we were free from the systems of oppression that bind us and try to assert control?
One Square World stands in solidarity with those in Mexico, Puerto Rico and elsewhere suffering in the wake of the devastating September 19 earthquake and Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These disasters are a tragic reminder that climate change is our new reality whose costs we are all forced to bear. The longer we delay in mitigating its effects, the more lives we put in jeopardy.
We also know that those on the frontlines-- the most vulnerable to natural disasters-- are most often the most socially vulnerable as well. Oppressive historical processes intentionally pushed marginalized communities into flood zones, urban heat sinks, and neighborhoods characterized by poor infrastructural investment. As we recuperate and rebuild it's important now more than ever to acknowledge that true resilience demands an approach that includes these voices in building solutions. That is why we are hard at work in Providence and Boston bringing an equity lens to future resilience planning.
Today, the most urgent thing is to support our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and elsewhere as they begin recovery efforts. Here are some way you can help:
Introducing Our New Board President, Alexandra Garita
Equity in Sustainability: Providence in the News
The National League of Cities interviewed Huertas and Leah Bamberger, Director at our partner Sustain PVD, on the process and what it means to bring racial equity to resilience planning.
Building Community-Controlled Economies in Boston
By shifting power back into the hands of community members, the Ujima Project is ultimately a process of economic emancipation: emancipating marginalized communities from power structures that have long-excluded their voices from the decision-making process. One Square World is proud to contribute to and support that effort.