As protests and unrest continue across the nation, I am heartened by the solidarity actions that I see happening in the Gorge. Even 5 years ago when we moved here, I do not believe that there would have been this many white folks at gatherings in support of Black and brown lives. That gives me hope that our little corner of the world desires to create the change that is necessary to build an inclusive tomorrow.
Building a future that is inclusive starts locally. It starts with you and me and our communities looking at the changes that it will take to truly build a just society for the next generations. One of the ways that we can do this is by increased access to resources like mental health, domestic violence services and better treatment for those experiencing addiction issues. However, simply throwing money at these things will not affect the changes that are necessary.
If we want to see real and lasting change, we must address the underlying issues that are the root of things—like mental health, interpersonal violence (IPV) and addiction. These things are all normal responses to the crazy world that we live in which encourages such severing from each other. Building a society that is truly healthy while there is so much disconnection, just isn't possible; disconnect not only between us as human beings, but also the natural world that we rely on for sustenance.
Until we can transform the inequities that institutional racism and oppression cause, we will never eradicate things like IPV and mental health issues to build a society that truly espouses justice for all.
Thank you for taking a stand with me today against racism and oppression in all its forms.
-Joanna Turner, Candidate for Klickitat County Commissioner, District 1
Learn more about Joanna here: https://www.friendsofjoanna.com/