Working with Systems and Communities

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Please familiarize yourself with the timeline. Just open it and look around. Be like a meandering river, following your thoughts and different stories. Don’t worry about being rigorous yet, unless that is how your river flows. 

The questions below are designed to support you to go deeper into your experience, your connection and your meaning making with this timeline. As we named in the introduction, our greatest wish is that you gather others with you to go through the questions. Maybe one other or maybe a small group. Share with each other what you are feeling, noticing, learning. Let this be about deepening your relationships with others in your life, one of the facets of collective care. If that is not possible, then journal your responses. If it’s possible, share some of those journal entries with someone. If it isn’t possible, still read them out loud. Offer them as witness to your life and your experience.

What do you notice?  In your body? Attend to the basic sensations, feelings, movements, insights that come up even before you turn to the page.  Applying what you already know.

Spend some time reflecting on these questions while you look at the timeline, before starting to go deeper. If you are doing a circle, you could gather people together to look together at the timeline, let the meandering river take you, as you listen to these questions:

Personal & Kin Communal/Collective Institutional/State /Global
Where is your life and the life of your kin reflected (or not reflected) in this timeline? How is your resistance reflected (or not reflected)?What has been your relationship to the care and wellness of your community, your family, your kin? What parts of this are generational? Cultural?What is the role of state surveillance and state dominance in responding to COVID? How do you see that show up on the timeline? If it happens, when are state entities in right relationship with communities?
What does it feel like to learn what you didn’t know when you look through this timeline? Why do you think you don’t know these things?Were you taught, directly or indirectly, that some people “deserved” care or wellness or justice and other people did not?What are some of the institutional systems that you see operating on people’s bodies and experience of COVID? How do you experience or not experience those same systems in your own life?
How are the histories of your people reflected or not reflected in this timeline?How do you see histories that sabotage collective care and wellness being repeated in this timeline? How do you see resistance?How do you imagine that these systems could be operating differently? What would respect and dignity look like at the institutional level?

Working with the Content.  These questions support you to go deeper into thinking about the impact of systems and oppression on particular communities in relationship to the response to COVID-19.

How does anti-Black racism and Native disappearance continue to play out during this pandemic? What about immigrant panic? 
How does xenophobia play out in this timeline? What do you know about the histories that have led to how this shows up in the present moment?
What is the story this timeline tells about how those incarcerated in prisons and/or detention centers are valued?
What is a story that you would tell of the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the US healthcare system?
What is a story that you would tell about the role of philanthropy or wealth gathering during this time of pandemic?
What is the role of presidential leadership, or any kind of significant leadership,  in the US system? How does it play out in this timeline?
What do you believe the relationship should be between the US and global health care initiatives during times of pandemic? How has it played out during the COVID pandemic?
What do you see about the ongoing cultural battle over what is meant by the separation of church and state?
Name three different ways that ableism is repeated in the response to COVID-19.
Name three different ways that profit over accessible care shows up in the response to COVID-19.
How has white nationalism grown move visible during the time of the pandemic? Why do you think this has happened?
What does resistance look like? What kind of resistance is not on this timeline that you know about?

Deepening your Relationship with History of COVID-19  through Land, Work/Economy, Body & Spirit. If you wish you can use this below chart to go deeper with the timeline these questions explore what we can transform based on understanding our relationship to systems and conditions within this COVID moment. 

LAND 
What accountability to the land is necessary in this COVID moment?What needs to be repaired in this moment that honors the land? What resistance or action supports a right relationship to the land? What is the next most elegant step you can take that is honoring the role of the land as a central part of our collective safety and wellness? 
WORK/ECONOMY
What work and economic accountability is necessary in this COVID moment?What needs to be repaired from the impact of  the pandemic for our shared and collective economy? What resistance or action supports right relationship to the resources we all share? What is the next most elegant step you can take towards a new vision for how work and the economy can support our collective safety and wellness? 
BODY
What accountability to your body is necessary in this COVID moment?What needs to be repaired in this moment to support your physical and emotional state of being, your overall embodiment? What resistance or action supports the deepening of your right relationship to your body? What is the next most elegant step you can take towards a new vision for how you live in and celebrate your physical and emotional life, your body as part of deepening our collective safety and wellness? 
SPIRIT 
What accountability to honoring Spirit is necessary in this COVID moment?What needs to be repaired so that your relationship to Spirit can deepen and expand?What resistance or action supports right relationship to how you live with and/or honor the spiritual practices of those around you? What is the next most elegant step you can take towards a new vision for centering and living with Spirit in support of our collective safety and wellness? 
*Chart Informed by Southerners on New Ground Organizing School & Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective 

To return to the main curriculum page to explore the rest of the curriculum and sections, click here, or in the menu above.