Greetings, Beloved Community!
Greetings, Beloved Community!
When I joined CoreAlign five months ago, I shared a quote by queer Xicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa with the staff and faculty that sums up what I believe to be at the heart of CoreAlign’s work.
“I believe that by changing ourselves, we change the world, that traveling El Mundo Zurdo path is the path of a two-way movement—a going deep into the self and an expanding out into the world, a simultaneous recreation of the self and a reconstruction of society.”
It was customary for me to share the essay this quote comes from at the beginning of each semester with my students as an invitation to explore the complexity of movement-building work. I come back to this essay again as I step into the role of executive director and lead the direction of our future work.
I’m excited and honored to be traveling with this community as we begin a recreation and reconstruction of CoreAlign into Social Movements + Innovation, a resource hub at The New School. In my 15-year career, I have rarely seen a leader so boldly shift the organizational strategy and geography to better serve its community. This kind of deep transformation is precisely what inspired me to join Sujatha. I believe the decision to slow down, listen to our community, and transform organizational ways of being is a bold act of resistance in today’s political and philanthropic environment. As the daughter of a Jim Crow survivor and a Xicana migrant farm worker, I’m not surprised that white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy is showing up and showing out. In fact, recent Supreme Court decisions to uphold the travel ban and to block the enforcement of California’s Reproductive FACT Act indicate a deliberate erosion of the love, sex, family, and communities we have been fighting for.
Because we cannot stand idle and watch this happen to our people and communities, we will continue to work hand in hand with you—movement leaders, grassroots organizers, artists, creative entrepreneurs, policymakers, and researchers—to:
Explore, experiment, and disrupt ideas
Collaborate across social movements, sectors, and geographies
Plan and strategize for the long term
Fail and learn together
Incubate and reach scale
At The New School, we will offer learning, practice, and innovation spaces to advance activists. Through a combination of leadership development and network-building activities, our work will serve as a space and resource for you to courageously disrupt the status quo. We will offer innovation labs and fellowship programs, and we will serve as a host site and facilitator for movement-strategy convenings.
By drawing upon the many years of CoreAlign’s distinguished work and our new connection to The New School, we will bring movement leaders and activists into a cross-disciplinary learning space while simultaneously pushing The New School community out of New York City and into other parts of the U.S. where CoreAlign’s networks are clustered. This two-way movement will allow us to go deep and wide toward a future where innovation leads and racism fails.
The current political climate has made it very clear that we must skillfully build power and carefully learn from the historical moments that preceded us. These are the ways of being and doing that CoreAlign has taught us. As such, I am grateful for the opportunity to build with all of you to create an even stronger version of our innovative work, where race and power are centered.
Leading requires listening and learning. To that end, I’m eager to hear your ideas, experiences, and perspectives on our future work. I have spoken to some of you by phone or visited you in your cities—and I can’t wait to know this community better. To get us better acquainted, join me for a virtual pop-up conversation on Tuesday, July 31, 3:00–4:00 PM EST / 12:00–1:00 PM PST.
Will you join us on our path toward transformation?
Yours in the struggle,
Judy Pryor-Ramirez, Executive Director