Making Meaning and Change, Together

Author LyLy Vang-Yang, TakeAction Minnesota Cultural Strategy Manager

We’re not yet two weeks into the new year and it’s been a wild ride, to say the least. If 2020 was any indication, it’s not going to let up. In fact, I think this year will go in ways that are unimaginable. My heart hopes for unimaginably positive, though I know that won’t always be the case.  

I’m reflecting a lot on how we pace ourselves and take care of each other. Katie, TakeAction’s movement building director, asked me an important question: How are you keeping yourself steady? I share that with you because this is something we all need to think about right now, and I always enjoy hearing from our members. Share your ideas with me.  

LyLy, TakeAction Minnesota Cultural Strategist and blog author

Before we dive in, let’s do a light body stretch together. This is adapted from TakeAction Minnesota leader Halley. Settle into your seat and plant your feet to the ground. Take a practice breath with me. In and out. Think about a few things that you’re breathing new life into this year and think about a few things that you want to release from this past year. Stretch your arms up, naming what you’re breathing new life into. We’re reaching to our highest aspirations as we stretch our arms up. Release your breath and name what you’re releasing from this past year. Now, stretch your arms to the floor. We’re digging into deep relationships, relationships we need to build if we want to win. Again, name what you’re breathing new life into and as you release your breath, release what you need to from 2020. Lastly, we’re going to stretch our arms out to our sides. This represents the broad multiracial base we must build. Breathe in community, breathe out isolation. Give yourself a hug and release tension from the day.  

The insurrection last week was terrifying. As more information comes out, it becomes more horrific. Read our statement about it. “Through this crisis, our North Star remains steady as ever: together, we are charting a path toward a vibrant, multi-racial democracy that works for all of us.”  

I’m holding that North Star close. It’s what’s keeping me going. The night of the insurrection, 110 folks from across Minnesota – and beyond – gathered to learn about how to #StopLine3. 110 folks, despite exhaustion from the day, made the choice to be in community. I heard over and over again, “I needed to be in community.”  

The next night, our movement-building team held another event to make meaning around what had happened in D.C. Again, people showed up and made the deliberate choice to be with each other. Highlighting the choice to act is important. We can’t doomscroll our way to change. We have to act and we must act in community.  

Here’s what you can do right now: sign our petition.  

We demand the immediate removal of President Trump, the expulsion of US Representatives Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn, and the resignation of US Representatives Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber. All have been complicit in violence and undermined our democracy.  

Sign our petition, share it on your social media channels, and send it to five friends. Want to do more?It’s important that we check in with each other and invite folks to act with us. If you live in Representative Emmer or Stauber’s district, send us an email to get involved with our on-the-ground organizing. Sign up for our text bank on Friday, January 15th to connect with Minnesotans in their districts and invite them to hold their representatives accountable.

Amidst doom and gloom, I do feel hope. My coworkers at TakeAction Minnesota and movement friends in Minnesota and beyond are building political homes where people can care for each other, learn with and from each other, and take bold risks together.  

We deserve a world where everyone can live a life of dignity and joy – but we don’t get there alone, we don’t get there quickly, and we don’t get there without putting in the work.  

Did you sign the petition yet? It’s a good first step. 

Connection is medicine – so if you’re in need of community and a warm, inviting, and playful space, I invite you to join us at our People’s Sing-a-long. Our revolution will be joyful, and we will sing and dance together.  

Breathe in, breathe out. We got this.  

Take care, 


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