Things feel different today than they did at the start of this month. While the events of early January prove there is still tremendous work to be done to heal our fractured communities and threatened environment—from both the immediate hardships we face as well as the legacies of injustice and environmental destruction—we are breathing a bit easier now as we welcome this sea change in vision, priorities, and global action to address our shared challenges.
We’re hopeful and unified in our commitment to justice and a thriving future for all of us.
Here, WEA Alliance Leaders across the U.S. speak out on unity, hope and what comes next.
"There is a great change happening, being felt in the tension in the air, the pit of our stomachs, the tightness in our shoulders. But now and every day, I feel hope too. A United States election will not solely bring us to collective liberation, but it cannot keep us from collective liberation either. Now and every day, we roll our sleeves up, we open our hearts, and stand together for justice and a regenerative, reciprocal world. Tsilq’u nechghidnu, we are working as one."
"Yesterday was a historic moment. My favorite moment was watching Amanda Gorman speak about the hill we climb and how regardless of how far we have come we still have a long way to go. What I keep in my mind at all times is that 2020 proved that we can build the durable power necessary to demand transformational change. In 2021, we can't accept crumbs or false promises. Now that we have the power, it’s time to wield it."
"Amidst everything that fell apart, there is still hope to unite in justice and set our intention and goals towards liberation. Hold on to our commitment to sow seeds, nourish the land and our spirits as we continue the daily work of cultivating goodness in our communities, our hearts, and in the world."
“Our earth, our mother, our forever giving life source is conspiring with all the elements and with the cosmos for deep transformation and healing. We are all alive for a reason. May we find hope and unity to build anew centered on justice and love. This is our soul purpose.”
"Youth voices have been at the forefront of movements asking for change and building unity in coalitions. We at Herbicide Free Campus are excited to continue supporting youth in pushing for change and use this historic transition we find ourselves in to think radically and re-imagine our relationships with campus spaces and communities."
"I see this historic election of President Biden and Vice President Harris as hopeful. VP Harris has broken the glass ceiling, and people of color can really reach new heights. I am glad to hear a change in the tone of the message that the new president has delivered for repairing the mistrust, and hurt feelings while holding people accountable. I see integrity is restored. I look forward to creating more energy, achieving results, and attracting fulfilling people in our lives who are reliable, empowering, loving, and inspiring."
"As we step into this year, I dream of a world in which we are guided by the wisdom of our ancestors, the ingenuity of our youth, and the grace found in our plant and animal relatives. I see the seeds that are planted every day to make that world possible by those who have difficult conversations around transparency, accountability, and historical legacies that have current ramifications that affect us all. I remain grateful for the dreamers, the visionaries, the activists, the healers, the organizers, and all those who give deep of themselves so that others do not have to struggle so hard. May we all continue to engage in this beautiful struggle together for our collective futures."
"Unity is one of the fundamental principles of our indigenous leadership, and collectivism. We must find the common denominator within ourselves, as a society, with the living Earth, and the global community to foster healing of these historic wounds we have endured both as a nation, and as stewards of the Earth. We must look to the ancestors, and hold up their prayers and intentions for our future resilience. We must set aside our differences be they political, religious, etc. that only create otherness, and commit ourselves to our future oneness as a people that will lead us out of the crises we have endured this past year until balance is restored from the pandemic, the environment, and and for a collective peaceful social good."
"As one of many Indigenous women participating in [WEA and Sierra Club's U.S. Accelerator] that are fighting to protect ancestral homelands under attack by dangerous, unnecessary and destructive fossil fuel infrastructure projects, I am grateful and feel an incredible sense of HOPE after President Biden's cancellation of Keystone XL and the following executive actions on day 1. I along with other Alliance of Native Seed Keepers members (including Co-founder Beth Roach and Crystal Cavalier-Keck) have unified as water and land protectors to collaborate on a campaign to STOP the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in WV, VA and NC. With this momentum at the federal level, I would love to see more done to prioritize the health and well-being of people, our environment and national resources by building back FOSSIL FREE. Keystone is a wonderful start but many other BIPOC and low-income communities have suffered or will be threatened from projects like MVP. We are not sacrifice zones!"