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#GlobalSisterhood: Building Solidarity Across the Americas

  • JASS
In this collaboration with JASS we realize how our bodies, lives and communities are interconnected. We feel proud to be here to learn about your work, your struggle and resistance and together say: Yes to life!” These are the words of Priscilla Hung from the US during her visit to the indigenous community of La Puya where women have co-led a blockade that has successfully halted mining. The visit to La Puya is part of a 10-day women-to-women cross-border exchange among 21 women of color activists leading grassroots women’s organizing in the U.S., with JASS Mesoamerica and our allies from Guatemala and Honduras. Organized jointly by JASS and Move to End Violence, this exchange, which just came to an end on today, aimed to build cross-border connections and learning, and explore how to connect our strategies to combat violence, climate change, corruption, and the crises of governance in our countries. We have compiled a few of the reflections and strong feelings about the process from some of the women activists and JASS staff who participated.

Tell us about the journey to this exchange

Daysi (JASS-Honduras): Building an exchange that connects women activists’ lives and the struggles they are facing in their different contexts is a deliberate and conscious process. These grounded processes allow us to create safe and honest spaces for coming together. This process has been carefully traced with love and care, starting with JASS and Move to End Violence’s partnership, which began the moment, we sat down to plan, design and build together this exchange. Over a year in the making, we are excited to be here and surrounded by powerful women. We are bridging and breaking the artificial walls that separate our movements and resistances, and demonstrating the importance of connecting them because our intertwined histories also makes our liberation intertwined. We have explored our very different and at the same time similar realities through deep conversations, and we have connected with diverse spiritualties and healing processes.

What you have loved so far about the exchange?

Guatemalan Activist: [A US activist] shared her story with me about black women in the US, a gift I really appreciated and it helped me awaken more of my Latina and indigenous identity, deepened my curiosity about my own identity. I feel joyful and happy. I feel changed. My heart is fuller than how it came, fuller of knowledge, fuller of love and I know we have laid the ground for alliance.

Alexa (JASS-USA): I am blown away by women’s power and boldness of the vision, activism and articulation of movement strategy and our political moment. It really could not have been better in terms of bringing in a politics that puts all of what we have been talking about together.

Why this exchange and building solidarity and sisterhood is critical

Guatemalan Activist: We need to come to know each other and align ourselves as we face the same forces in our struggles against extractivism, capitalism, racism, patriarchy and because we share a common dream of our liberation and that of mother earth. 

Johana Wheaterborn (Guatemala): I am not tired of fighting. I am tired of fighting alone. I need you to fight with me.

Guatemalan Activist: We too need to undo our colonialization. Our different experiences and histories are used to divide us. We have to become more connected to break these stories. We have to unlearn and learn how to stand with each other.

US Activist: As women, we are called to save this planet. It is women who are stepping forward to save humanity. We can’t let borders divide us – not physical or mental walls. Let’s build bridges of solidarity instead.

Honduran Activist: We also have to open our intimate relationships in sisterhood and brotherhood, and we don’t have the time to be divided.  In knowing each other, we can come together at a grassroots level. At an international level, it is more abstract but we can listen to one another and learn about each other’s struggles.

Follow the blogs from this transformational exchange here.

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