Welcome to Connect the Dots

15 Sep

Welcome to the first Connect the Dots blog entry!   We are so very excited to invite you to join us as we build a connectionist movement.   If you know someone who is interested in the connection between human, animal, and environmental concerns and well being, please share this site.  The process has certainly been slow-going as Stacia and I (Ashley) work on this in our “free time.”  In the midst of major life changes such as moves, births, and new jobs, we continue to forge ahead on the Connect the Dots Essays book and I anticipate that our work will expand.  This is an organically growing movement, so your involvement is key.  If you would like to post a blog, please email connectthedotsmovement@gmail.com.

I spent the week in DC at the National Sexual Assault Conference.  As these things usually do, the conference energized me and motivated me to continue to expand my lens – I had a nice chat with Dolores Huerta about how we need to work across and between movements.  My formal work focuses on ending violence against women.  Is it possible to end this manifestation of oppression without addressing other manifestations?

Corinne Graffunder, a CDC leader, spoke at the conference.  The following are points she shared that I feel are pertinent to our connectionist movement:

  • Transfer power to the community – work collectively to make our work of and by others.
    • Stacia and I, those who are writing for Connect the Dots Essays, and those who have come before us, know this is not our work.  This is everyone’s work and we want nothing more than to see this movement catch fire.  The only way for the movement to grow is through you, in community.
  • A movement is not just one individual, one person whose job it is to be the prevention person.  Look at the green movement – everyone, everyday individuals, know what it means to be green and know what they can do in their lives to make this a more sustainable, healthier world.
    • One component of our vision is that someday everyone will understand how daily choices interact and can contribute to a peaceful and just world.  Someday consumption will be preceded by thoughts of how an item’s production affects humans, animals, and the environment.  This is a movement – we don’t have employees.  We don’t have a Director of Connection.  We have you.
  • Are you willing to take risks?  We have to make things happen in prevention.  Innovation and risk go hand in hand.
    • “How the heck does what I eat related to youth violence!?”  If you’re interested in this blog, you probably know what it feels like to take risks and to say things no one has ever heard before.  Sharing a connectionist perspective is a risk.  Preventing violence and injustice necessitates a connectionist perspective.    Those of us who build this movement are risk takers.  We applaud you for your courage.
  • Embrace the power we have as a collective.
    • Stacia and I have met connectionist folks one by one over a long period of time.  We hope through this blog, the book, and future work, that we will meet even more of you.  This work can be very lonely.  Let’s unite.  We are stronger, healthier, and happier when we find each other.

We have a long road ahead and we’re so happy to travel it with you.  To contact us, email connectthedotsmovement@gmail.com.


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