Ready to Imagine Another World

By Solange Gould

Photo of young man at the end of a trail, looking out into the distance of sky and mountains on a clear day.
Solange’s son, Kahlil. Photo by Rowan Gould-Bayba.

I’m excited to introduce myself to you now that I’ve been Co-Director at HIP for 3 months.

These months have gone by so quickly, and it has been hard to stop and reflect. Along with all of you, we have been engulfed in the rapid response actions needed to center equity throughout the myriad impacts of coronavirus.

The powerful questions we face

Just like the climate crisis, COVID-19 is hitting communities facing multiple systemic inequities the hardest. If we had invested in upstream public health prevention and long-addressed the causes of the causes of health inequities, we might still be in a pandemic, but it would look very different. Coronavirus has laid bare all of the symptoms of deep power imbalances, structural racism, and others systems of advantage.

I always wonder how the enslaved Jews were convinced to leave the familiarity of their homes for the unknown and insecure future wandering in the desert. It must have been some powerful community organizing to convince people to leave after so many generations of living in Egypt.

I like to imagine the moment before the Red Sea parts, with a band of people standing on one side, deciding whether to cross over into an unknown wilderness, into a desert without shelter, food, or water. They must have had some powerful imaginations to envision the future they could build if they left behind that which was not serving them anymore.

Bringing the power of public health to campaigns and movements for a just society

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