Dear friends, I hope this post brings you bursts of hope and nourishment. I’m sharing a collection of recent writings and videos in a slideshow called Patches of Aliveness. It’s like a quilt I’ve stitched together for the beautiful humans who are organizing more just, equitable, and caring communities. Each slide is a patch that, on its own, can perhaps bring you warmth or even inspiration when you need it. As a collection, I hope the patches can start to form a picture of a more nurturing world to heal the wounds inflicted by our legal and economic systems.
I’ve taken time to reflect on my past 15 years of work with cooperatives, land trusts, urban gardens, mutual aid collectives, and a wide range of grassroots groups. I’ve been immersed in systems like law, real estate, energy, and finance, but I’ve grown increasingly uneasy with the harm we cause when working within such systems. At their core, these systems operate with a logic that divides us and fosters domination and exploitation. Even when we attempt to fashion such systems in the name of justice and equality, we’re still working in systems that have their roots in violence.
But the world has so much to teach us about more connected, healing, and nurturing ways of being. I’ve learned profound lessons from Indigenous leaders, ecosystems, cellular biology, neuroscience, and Eastern wisdom traditions, which have deeply reshaped how I approach my work. Patches of Aliveness shares how I’ve applied such inspiration to the work of returning land to community stewardship, building energy democracy, and reimagining relationships to money, law, lawyers, and more.
Among the dozens of writings and videos you’ll find in the Patches, I’m especially excited to share a new toolkit called Seeds of Land Return, which offers several legal tools to ease the process of returning land to Black, Indigenous, and other frontline communities. One such tool is a Rematriation Easement that we developed in collaboration with the wonderful Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, one of the most inspiring organizations of all time.
I feel so much aliveness in this work! And almost 13 years after co-founding Sustainable Economies Law Center, I’m taking a 6-month sabbatical to backpack around Indonesia, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. I believe these travels will support me to fall more deeply in love with the world and further enliven my work.
I look forward to reimagining and remaking the world with you after I return in 2023, and in the many years to come.
In solidarity and love,