To imagine new worlds, we need words that reflect our current one. Audre Lorde tells us, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” and I think this is why there is such a proliferation of new language on the left — we are describing forces we have purposefully been given no words to describe — new words to talk about gender, race, and identity — new words to talk about a diversity of internal experiences — new words to talk about the oppressive ways society is organized.
Recently I saw a director of development position at a local organization whose work I respect. The overview paragraph talked about being the face of the organization, building strategic partnerships, preparation of grants, appeals, campaigns, etcetera. Great, I thought. I can do all of that!
In September 2017, I was fired from my role as associate director of Invest in Youth in Seattle because I was outspoken about the organization’s need to diversify their volunteer tutors and board members. My passion for anti-racism work did not align with their investment in the status quo.