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Using Your Joy with Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center.

To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST


ZAK: Every Friday on the show we talk food. Today's episode is also the final installment of Amanda Alexander week. Amanda is the founder of the Detroit Justice Center.

AMANDA: We're lawyers who support people's movements here in the city and who are fighting for a world without jails and prisons.

ZAK: Amanda and I have been diving into the letter she wrote to her niece, Fiona, and later published in the Boston Globe. It's all about how Black woman have created movements and cultivated joy. And Amanda's letter is filled with some deep, deep wisdom and advice. Like this, find what brings you joy and use it for movements.

AMANDA: Given that the task is as big as remaking society, and ending mass incarceration, creating conditions for people to thrive, it means that the problem is so deep that there is work for everyone all the time. And so, that means that everyone can be part of the solution and being part of the world that we need. And actually, there's so many good examples of people putting their talents and passions and particular joy to work for movements.

ZAK: Like Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere.

AMANDA: They were a group of cooks and bakers from Montgomerie, Alabama who made and sold food to help fund the Montgomerie Bus Boycott. It was 382 days long. And people often think that it was Rosa Parks, she refused to give up her seat, and maybe a few days later the busses were integrated.

ZAK: Right, this spontaneous thing.

AMANDA: Right, but this was a very long time and so people were doing things like The Club from Nowhere did to take their skills in cooking and baking and using the proceeds from sales to power right back into the movement. So in that case creating some delicious food that would fuel people and fortify their bodies and then taking the profits from that and very literally funding movement work.

ZAK: We watch a lot of Mister Rogers around here and he has a song that you just reminded me of. The song is, There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You.

AMANDA: Oh, I love that.

ZAK: And this is an example of...find the thing that you care about or that you are good at or that you love and, like, use that for the greater good.

AMANDA: Yes. Everyone has a role to play.

ZAK: I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I have. Thank you so much, Amanda Alexander. If you haven't read her entire piece, How Black Woman Have Built Movements and Cultivated Joy, you must. It's at The Boston Globe. It's also linked in our show notes. As always I want to hear your advice. Give me a call at 844-935-BEST.

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