What I would most like to share with future generations of people committed to working for justice is that how you treat people in the course of doing your work makes a difference. It is true that movement organizers often work under very challenging conditions, and we sometimes lay our anger and frustration at the feet of friends and allies who are much more accessible than the powerful who perpetuate the cruel systems of oppression we oppose. Conflicts and failed communications are to be expected and can usually be resolved with honest dialogue and by sincerely owning one’s mistakes.

What concerns me is the type of oblivious and self-involved behavior that becomes so pervasive that it saps energy and even breaks the spirits of those who encounter it. I think that there is a contradiction in claiming to work for a better world in...

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