But seriously, Kendra, what can we do? I received this question a lot yesterday.
We can start by reaching out to members of our community that will be disproportionately affected by our President Elect’s #xenophobia, #racism, and #misogyny.
I started with my friend A (abbreviated for obvious reasons), a college student who grew up in a series of #refugee camps in Uganda and Kenya. After ten years and much vetting from the UNHCR and the US, his family finally received resettlement in the United States.
Nevermind that A is juggling college and a job with impressive grit and grace, or that he helps to raise his siblings, or that he’s multilingual, or that he is kind to his core. A is Somali and Muslim, and our President Elect has made it known in no uncertain terms that A and his family’s kind would be barred from entry to the United States.
Believe me when I say that it would be at a huge loss to my community and to our country. And that whatever despair I feel over today’s election result, I need to think instead of the fear he must feel. And so many others like him. And pause to make sure they know I care.
And invite you to do the same in your community.
Posted in Perspective, refugees
Tagged america, fear, heal, heal the community, hopeful, muslim, oregon, portland, racism, refugee, refugee camp, refugees welcome, somali, take action, volunteer, xenophobia
Last night fourteen strangers in our 20s and 30s gathered around a dinner table. Potluck style. We shared dishes and tears and hopes for #lifeafterloss. And before dessert, we had become a community.
(Check out TheDinnerParty.org to learn more and to join a table in your town.)
Posted in Perspective, Team Poppy
Tagged cancer, daughter, death, father, father-daughter, grief, grief support, loss, multiple myeloma, myeloma, potluck
Yesterday we paddled out to remember my father, a lifelong longboarder, just as he would have wanted it: in his favorite surf spot, right where he taught me and my sister and my nephews how to surf.
The theme of the night was Fathers. So I told a story about mine.
Posted in Perspective, Team Poppy
Tagged daughter, father, hospice, myeloma, Nepal, oregon, Peace Corps, portland, storytelling, the moth
This moment should be thrilling. New job, new city, new world. But instead my heart is breaking because I can’t call my dad and tell him all about it. The void is vast. Please, dear #Portland, fill it with kindness and beauty.
But is there still hope? For them, for us, for the world? These are the questions my friends ask me from afar.
Yes, I reply without hesitation. Can’t you see it in their eyes? When they stop coming, then we’ll know there is no more hope.
(These unaccompanied minors have fled without guardians. Their parents, grandparents, and families are either dead, imprisoned, sick, disabled, displaced, or otherwise unable to make the journey to safety. Standing on the distant shores, loading into a raft, these boys were very much aware that boats sink and kids die. They prepared for that possibility as much as one can without the privilege of ever having learned to swim. When I welcomed these boys to the Lesvos shore they asked for my help in removing the “waterproofing” tape they had wrapped around their phones. They were anxious to make a call to let someone, anyone know they made it across the sea safely. It breaks my heart when their sisters, left behind, are the ones answering the phone.)
Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece.
What will they remember about the way the world treated them? Will it be more than the history our leaders have forgotten?