My name is Shiree and I have been organizing for justice since I was 17. The vision for a just society that treated its peoples right has always driven me to love the work. And, being able to put together this Brown Paper with Sammy Nuñez, founder of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, on Measuring Love is an important marker in my life.
I met Sammy five years ago at an event at the Capitol as I was coming on board as the learning and evaluation partner to The California Endowment’s Sons and Brothers work. Sammy looked at me and said, “How do you measure love, Shiree?” I sat with that question for five years, as it resonated powerfully in my heart and mind. Since then, that’s what we’ve been doing!
Here is a sneak peek:
Love is the most powerful force in the universe if we understand and learn to wield it. To authentically love yourself and others around you: that is the sign of the true revolutionary in a society that teaches us to hate ourselves; where we are bombarded with pain and shame, stripping us of our power and traumatizing us; and where, as a result, we carry this baggage into every relationship, perpetuating further injustice.
In this Brown Paper, we call upon love as an antidote to injustice. We call for a catalytic, decolonizing, transformative love. We shine a light on the love that is practiced by communities like Fathers and Families of San Joaquin. We break open what we mean by self love; love for, with, and of others; love that is a community practice; and power fused with love.
We discuss why it matters; where “we” are in the journey from the current state of this practice to where we want to (and need to) go; and how we believe we will get there. Finally, we discuss how we “measure” transformative love, or rather, how we can know it when we see it and how we can document its power for change. This kind of love is not a “feeling” but an action—not a noun but a verb.
We are honored to share it with you, click here to read it.
Sammy Nunez and Shiree Teng