WHAT WE’RE READING, WATCHING & LISTENING TO AT HORIZONS
There are so many wonderful insights and ideas that inspire us at The Horizons Project, helping to make sense of what’s happening, what’s needed, what’s possible and ways of working within a complex system. Once a month we share just a sampling of the breadth of resources, tools, reflections, and diverse perspectives that we hope will offer you some food for thought as well.
Coordinates of Speculative Solidarity
By: Barbara Adams as part of UNHCR’s Project Unsung
“Solidarity has a speculative character and is fundamentally a horizontal activity with its focus on liberation, justice, and the creative processes of world- and future-building—projects that are never complete. The horizon is always present in the landscape, reminding us that there are things beyond what is visible from a particular location. As a coordinate central to perspective and orientation, the horizon is vital to successful navigation. As we move toward the horizon it remains “over there,” showing us that there are limits to what we can know in advance. However, rather than frustrating our efforts, horizons represent possibilities.”
The Relational Work of Systems Change
By: Katherine Milligan, Juanity Zerda and John Kania at the Collective Change Lab
“People who work with collective impact efforts are all actors in the systems they are trying to change, and that change must begin from within. The process starts with examining biases, assumptions, and blind spots; reckoning with privilege and our role in perpetuating inequities; and creating the inner capacity to let go of being in control. But inner change is also a relational and iterative process: The individual shifts the collective, the collective shifts the individual, and on and on it goes. That interplay is what allows us to generate insight, create opportunities, and see the potential for transformation.”
6 Key Practices for Sensemaking
By: David McLean on LinkedIn
This post highlights the work of Harold Jarche and is chock full of tips on how to deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity.
More Common Sense, Less Ideology: Modern Communications Lessons from the Critical Race Theory Debates
By: Nat Kendall-Taylor at Frameworks Institute
“Being smart and right is getting in the way of moving hearts and minds towards positive social change…Speaking to what people are worried about resonates, while rhetorical quips and barbs make it seem like communicators don’t get the point, or worse, that they don’t care. Instead of defending the definition of Critical Race Theory, communicators could have pivoted to discussions about the importance of having an education system that prepares children for the world they will inherit, or of the role of having children realize their potential for the future prosperity of our country.”
After the Tide: Critical Race Theory in 2021
By: Baratunde Thurston on Puck
“So, I want us to stop talking about ‘critical race theory’ and start talking about what it means to love this country. I want us to stop burying our heads when someone shares an unflattering truth and instead embrace the discomfort and recognize it as a sign of growth. I want us to stop talking about ‘freedom’ as if it means denying the truth and instead remember that living a lie is what holds us captive, and the truth is what sets us free. I’m ready to get to the part of the American story where we have processed our pain and used it to forge a stronger nation, where we can heal from our historic traumas and focus our energies on building that ever-elusive multi-racial democracy where everyone feels like they belong. But we cannot heal from injuries we do not acknowledge. We cannot grow from pain we refuse to feel. Let’s know America. Let’s love America. Let’s grow America.”
To Tackle Racial Justice, Organizing Must Change
By: Daniel Martinez HoSang, LeeAnne Hall and Libero Della Piana in The Forge
This provocative read names how internal conflicts can show up within racial justice movements and offers concrete advice on creating an “organizational culture with more calling-in than calling-out.”
Just Look Up: 10 Strategies to Defeat Authoritarianism
By: Deepak Bhargava and Harry Hanbury
“The gravity of the threat demands a reorientation of energy from organizations and individuals to prioritize the fight to preserve democracy. Unless it is addressed, there is little prospect of progress on other issues in the years to come. The fate of each progressive issue and constituency is now bound together. We might even imagine a practice of “tithing for democracy” — finding a way for all of us, whatever our role and work, to devote a significant portion of our time to address the democracy crisis, which has become the paramount issue of our time. We may each make different kinds of contributions, but there’s no way to honorably keep on with business as usual in the face of the current crisis. We’ll explore a wide variety of possible approaches with the understanding that there’s no silver bullet or quick fix for such a deep-rooted problem.”
Strengthening Local Government Against Bigoted and Anti-Democracy Movements
The Western States Center released a new resource for Local Governments on how to counter groups working to undermine democracy and counter bigoted political violence. “Local leaders have the power to confront hate and bigotry. Many have shown bravery and commitment in working to counter these dangerous forces in their communities….we hope these recommendations provide one more tool to support these critical efforts.”
The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer
The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer was recently released with the study results of levels of trust in business, governments, NGOs and media. Across every issue, and by huge margins, people indicated they want more business engagement and accountability in responding to societal problems, especially climate change and rising inequality.
Podcast Undistracted: “This Big Old Lie”
The author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee sits down with host Brittany Packnett Cunningham to explain her research, the “hypnotic racial story” fueling American injustice, and how we can do better.
Podcast Scholars Strategy Network: Reflecting on Two Years of Trauma
Dr. Maurice Stevens, from Ohio State University, reflects on how Americans react and respond to traumatic events both as individuals as groups, and on how we can better connect amidst the current chaos.
Fear and Scapegoating in the Time of Pandemics
A podcast interview with Yale Professor Nicholas Christakis, director of the Human Nature Lab, on the connection between pandemics and our need to assign blame.
Podcast StoryCorps: One Small Step
In this episode, StoryCorps shares examples of people sitting down and talking about what shapes their beliefs and what shapes us as humans. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay describes what he envisions for this new initiative, One Small Step.
Reading of “Let Them Not Say”
If you like poetry, you’ll enjoy this reading by Krista Tippet of Jane Hirshfield’s poem “Let Them Not Say” which is so powerful and relevant even though she wrote it a couple years ago.
Let them not say: we did not see it.
Let them not say: we did not hear it.
Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.
Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
we witnessed with voices and hands.
Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not-enough.
Let them say, as they must say something:
A kerosene beauty.
Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.
Unraveling Biases in the Brain
By: Dr. Emily Falk and Dr. Emile Bruneau at TEDxPenn
“How can we unravel the conflicting biases in our brain to work towards a more just and peaceful world? In this talk, Dr. Emily Falk honors Dr. Emile Bruneau’s work at Penn’s Neuroscience & Conflict lab, describing the opportunity to look closer into our unconscious biases, question them, and face discomfort to make a change in our communities and beyond.”
Dialogue Lab: America
This documentary by Ideas Institute that brings together twelve Americans from across the ideological spectrum to participate in a dialogue experiment on political polarization. It’s an hour long and “tracks each participant as they voice their political opinions, come face to face with those holding different views, and, perhaps, forge a path to mutual understanding.” You can watch the trailer here, and watch the movie from their website.
Hope-Based Communications for Human Rights Activists
By: Thomas Coombes at TEDxMagdeburg
Coombes reflects on how “social change activists are very good at talking about what they are against, but less good at selling the change they want to see to the wider public.”