Make a StatementOthers, Justice
Contributed by: Inner City Youth Alive
Written by Kent Dueck, Executive Director at ICYA
It’s a tumultuous time where people are opining about justice and showing their outrage in louder and louder tones. We are seeing signs and social media posts where people display their views and ideas about all they see as wrong in the world. ICYA has not been really vocal about the issue of racism during this tumultuous time. Forgive us. We have been busy addressing issues in our community. The only placard we have put up is a sign advertising access to toilet paper in light of the shortages. You can see all that is getting done by reading this edition of the Urban Edge. We are out there on that edge. While the narrative in the media seems like no one cares about people on the margins, we are hitting the ground bringing the good news of Jesus to the darkest places. Our supporters care about the North End. Trap houses are places forgotten by almost all of Winnipeg. They are dark places where drug users gather en masse to escape the pain of their broken lives. It’s so sad to see beautiful people walking around our community who just look like broken Picasso pictures. I guess if we were falling in line with all the yelling we would rather opt to do social media posts about this. Our actions around this season make a point but we aren’t interested in scolding anyone with the point we are making.
My point is this. I see way too many people browbeating through social media. I agree wholeheartedly with some of the things said but people who think slacktivism is some kind of virtuous substitute for action in the real world are dabbling in a really ugly form of self-deception. So in an ironic form of reverse brow-beating I would like to offer up a few suggestions. Jen Mason is our accountant but also a super power when it comes to all of this. Her and I can have blunt conversations and challenge each other to think deeper. We do this across our cultural differences. I will steal her statement to me as I was laboring over what kind of statement to make on all of this.
Your life is your statement!
Ultimately you act out of what you believe. It’s your actions not your words that matter. So, if you were constrained by this as a rule to live by perhaps people’s social media posts would read a little differently. They might sound more like “justice matters but not as much as people perceiving me to be a good woke person.”
So while people with ideas war over nuances and wording other people are making a statement with their lives. Maybe when you live out your beliefs you get to be a little quieter. I want to quietly be about crazy love here in our community—radical love that doesn’t yell but speaks with kindness into the cruelty of our crazy world. So many of our friends and supporters step up every month for ICYA. You are one of them. If you are getting this newsletter it is because your life is about taking actions and stepping up with your cheque book, your prayers, or volunteering at ICYA. When we put forward our plan to act during this pandemic by getting food out to the good people of our community our supporters backed with more than platitudes of “you go guys! All the best to you.” Nope, one donor put it best. “Do what you feel God is calling you to do Kent. Financially I got your back.” People have stepped up in a myriad of ways. Your actions spoke loudly.