Hectonichus / CC BY-SA (

We didn’t want this to happen; I’m not saying that. But we wanted something to happen. We all understood, consciously or otherwise, that the life we have all been living, the global economy we have created, was not sustainable. “

As the people of the world are in degrees of lockdown, we initially circulated not-always or wholly-true but most definitely uplifting information about a world that has healed itself in our absence.

The imaginary dolphins of Venice became, for a moment, a way of projecting ourselves forward into a world beyond the coronavirus crisis — a world where we have learned something, and been changed. “

We imagined that we would emerge from our sheltering in place to find a beautiful world where neighbors still sing to one another, the air is clean, animals have returned to regions from which they have long ago been displaced by humans.

But the world has far from healed itself. Abuses of power, of systemic racism, of racial capitalism did not magically disappear as we stayed at home. For black people in the US and for people around the world, stepping out of their homes – to shop, to jog, to eat – and sometimes even when they are sleeping in their homes, is a risk to their lives so much more pervasive and immediate than the virus that keeps us inside.

And now we begin to step outside, not to a healed idyllic environment, but to find ourselves on the streets. Demanding justice. Demanding humanity. Protests around the world in support of Black Lives Matter bring us together to demand that we transform into a just society.

How we get there is something that is our responsibility – every day – to get our heads around and take that next step. To make the time to learn about our history and to identify and dismantle the white supremacist frameworks that we inhaled with the air we breathed. To feel that in ourselves, to recognize it, and to act differently.

In acting differently, it may require making amends, but it definitely requires taking action in solidarity with organizations that have been fighting injustice all along.

These issues are not new, and those of us who are newer to them must follow the lead of those more experienced, and of those who are negatively affected by systemic racism in more aspects of their lives. Especially if we have always been a leader, this experience of getting in line and taking direction is part of the change we need to make in our world.

Sprout the seeds for what will be created next like a caterpillar in a chrysalis.

We will learn, rethink, reimagine.

Stand up. Support. Every day. As long as it takes. Even when we are tired. Because someone else has been fighting longer and is more tired.

Staying home for 3 months won’t reset the planet’s ecosystem. Being on the streets for a month won’t reset entrenched systems of injustice.

A combination of long-term commitments and perseverance is the only way.

To emerge. Better. Together.


Last week, I decided that in addition to our monthly donations to indigenous activists and organizations that preserve the land, culture, and livelihoods of native peoples, for the month of June I would be making weekly donations to organizations that advocate for black lives, fight for systemic changes, bail out protestors, and support civil rights.

My first donation was to Campaign Zero because their eight immediate actions that police departments could take to reduce police violence by 72% made me feel hopeful (for the first time in a long time) about solutions.

Since then, I have learned how the eight actions they recommend are not enough. And I have learned that many of Campaign Zero’s actions have been tried and were not sufficient. For example, New York City’s police department had already banned choke holds when NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner. Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a choke hold while arresting him on suspicion of selling single cigarettes from a pack.

Police violence is out of control in the United States. But I am learning that police are not a given in our society. That by reducing the power of the police we can not only reduce police violence, but also strengthen criminalized communities. More cities can follow Minneapolis City Council’s vote to defund the police and reallocate its municipal budget so that more money goes into building healthy communities, creating jobs, improving education, providing childcare and social services.

I am learning by reading the commitments of 8 to Abolition and following their hashtag #8toAbolition. They are committed to a world without policing, to “a world without police, where no one is held in a cage, and all people thrive and be well” and have eight policy changes to get us there.

As we remain in lockdown due to COVID-19 and we discuss the new “post-COVID” world we want to live in – one where the environment and human rights are prioritized, where there is no hunger, no poverty, where corporations take financial and social responsibility for what were previously allowed as “externalities” – let us continue expanding our minds and our visions of society.

Let us deepen our understanding of policing in the US and expand our dreams of what life without police and the prison industrial complex would be. Let us, a society, take financial responsibility for the damage to communities caused by policing and other structures of systemic racism.

Let us imagine what the world can look like when all communities thrive and are self sufficient.

And let us create that world. Together.


Although it was so frustrating (and required an inordinate number of emails and chats with tech-support) for me to get my website up, I now can breathe and see the love in the images I selected – two of my best friends coming to East Africa for my 50th in Zanzibar; my dreams-do-come-true hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro; the leopard photographed by my uncle when we were all on safari together in the Maasai Mara; the portrait taken by my friend Cat Gwynn reminding me of my amazing friends around the globe; celebrating the 50th birthdays of my best friend from high school and his wife (who I adore beyond words) in Pantelleria; and the otherworldly magic of Ngorongoro Crater after the rains. And it makes me smile from deep inside.