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Saturday, 23 March 2019

What Holiday's should we celebrate?

A few years back, the Western Mass RLC updated our mission statement and included this sentence at the end:

“Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, transphobia and psychiatric oppression."

Nothing about our mission statement or values is meant to be just words posted on a wall or website and then forgotten. We are committed to continuing to explore and vision what that sentence means, and how we can bring it to life. As a part of that effort, we are now taking a look at the holidays we most recognize.

A few years back, the Western Mass RLC updated our mission statement and included this sentence at the end:

“Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, transphobia and psychiatric oppression."

Nothing about our mission statement or values is meant to be just words posted on a wall or website and then forgotten. We are committed to continuing to explore and vision what that sentence means, and how we can bring it to life. As a part of that effort, we are now taking a look at the holidays we most recognize.

At present, the majority of holidays that are most prominently recognized by US society are based in a version of history that prioritizes the needs, practices, and culture of white people of Christian faith and European backgrounds. And, that leaning gives us a piece of the picture, but often leaves a lot out, too. For example, what is the real history of Thanksgiving? Or Columbus day? How does recognition of those holidays fit (or not fit) with a commitment to social justice and undoing systemic oppression?

And what about national days and weeks of recognition? For example, last year, while the country celebrated National Suicide Prevention Month, we pushed back and reclaimed the month as 'Alternatives to Suicide' based on the many issues of psychiatric oppression wrapped up in the suicide prevention industry.

Now, in an effort to take a deeper look, and make sure that we are being intentional about what we do and don't celebrate, we are asking you for your take on what days, weeks, and months we should raise up.

Please use the link HERE to fill out a survey to tell us a little bit about who you are (anonymously!), and then let us know what days, weeks, and months you think we should put our energy into recognizing (or not recognizing), and how best to do that!

 

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