What Voice Will You Hear?
The second convening was a very significant experience for me. As our cohort continues to bond, strengthen, and build, we are also becoming a family. I was inspired and encouraged by the dialogue, thinking, and of course the love that has developed between us.
As we “move” to end violence and we “lean forward”, I would like to encourage each of us to envision holding the hand of those in our communities who are the most vulnerable among us. For me that is primarily girls and women, particularly of color as well as financially poor women and girls.
“The voice of all women is essential, men’s violence and discrimination cannot end without adhering to the voices, leadership and experiences of all women. Without this understanding our work will be limited and “mainstream” focused. When working to end any form of abuse one must be accountable to those experiencing the abuse.”
As a man doing this work who understands that ultimately it is men who will need to end the violence that men perpetrate, it is vitally important that we do so considering all women. This of course requires us to work with all men and engage all men, everywhere. Yes, requiring us to go into places we might prefer not to go with a message that may be met with resistance and even hostility. The challenge also, when bringing this paradigm shift, is to do so while always affirming the experiences of women, and support the voices of all women within each community and providing genuine hope and care for men.
As we all prepare to travel together to India for our third convening. I know that we will be blessed and I expect that we will be a blessing to our hosts. We will surely meet many courageous women and girls that are working to end the oppression and violence that we all seek to end (I hope some men as well). However, in this moment as I write to you on this day, I also know that there are women and girls that will not survive from now until then. This is not just true in India but here at home as well and this saddens me. Nevertheless, I am encouraged, encouraged by each of you and the vision that we share, in MEV.
While we cannot see the impact that we make or how far our ripple go, I know that we have helped many to have better and safer lives. I am humbled to be counted among you.
Grace and Peace, Ted
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