Tenets of Accompaniment
Quote about solidarity work:
“To live into an anti-racist identity through a commitment to solidarity with peoples of color, white individuals and predominantly white communities do better to listen to communities of color long enough to discern the interests of those communities, then working to understand how those interests are held in common with one’s own community, and committing energies to working for those interests in mutuality. As noted above, the formation of relationships with sufficient trust to enable this collaboration requires time and evidence of followership; it also requires – and helps to develop – accountability and mutuality.”
Tammerie Day – excerpt from the book, Constructing Solidarity for a Liberative Ethic: Anti-Racism, Action, and Justice
8 tenets of accompaniment:
• Collective Liberation. Remembering that the liberation of everyone and everything is inherently connected, and together, we are on a journey toward it.
• Long Haul. Building relationships of trust and accountability with people and communities most impacted by injustice by showing up and staying in the relationships for the long haul.
• Center the Impacted. Disrupting the systems and structures of oppression – with integrity and in authentic community with those most impacted, following their leadership.
• Unlearning Dominance. Unlearning patterns such as taking charge, going first, jumping in without giving others an opportunity to speak, leading, rushing to decisions, either/or thinking, etc. Seeking both/and thinking and solutions. No Saving. Resisting the need to fix, tell, teach, give, help.
• No Assumptions. Not assuming we know what life and experiences are like for those from different cultures, religions or with different identities than our own. Listening more than speaking. Staying open to one another’s pain.
• Action. Willingness to do more than listen and talk. Committing to action and to showing up outside our realms of comfort, materially, emotionally and physically.
• Reflection/Action Cycle. Constantly evaluating and learning from mistakes and strengths and sharing that learning with others. Allowing ourselves to be changed.
• Sustainability. Embodying community accountability, collective healing, apologies and humility.
The Latin roots of “accompanying” are:
To be together (“com”) in eating bread (“panis”), face to face.
Derived from academic and pastoral care resources on the topic, along with interviews by Kelly Dignan with Dr. Vincent Harding, Staughton Lynd, Rev. John Fife, Rev. Dr. Thandeka, Rev. Julie Todd, PhD, and immigrant community members in the struggle. Updated 2020 to include Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree brown and White Supremacy Culture, Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001