Solidarity: Our Humanity Binds Us

I awoke this morning to the news that an act of terror had taken place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people and injuring dozens. I mourn for the lives that were taken, the victims’ families experiencing unspeakable loss, the witnesses navigating unimaginable trauma, and the millions of Muslim siblings all over the world who are directly impacted by yet another reminder of Islamophobia’s deep societal roots. To all who are impacted, I am so sorry. But my compassion is not enough.

I know that I do not face the same experiences or threats for practicing my own faith. I may not share the same faith as my Muslim siblings, but we do share our humanity. That is enough to require my solidarity. I am reminded during tragedies like these that I carry even more responsibility to show up in Allyship with those who are marginalized in areas where I am not.

Solidarity does not require that we alter our beliefs, but that we actively work towards ensuring everyone’s right to freely and safely practice their respective faiths. Solidarity does not mean that we accept society’s current state of injustice, but that we intentionally build a world where everyone can coexist and thrive. Solidarity does not mean division due to differences, rather an understanding that our humanity binds us.

I bear this in mind as I consider how to proceed. I know that as I seek to actively dismantle harmful systems of injustice, I must also look into the symbolic mirror and be personally accountable to the self-work that is required. I remind myself that it is necessary to deeply feel each time a senseless tragedy takes place because compassion will unlock much more action than desensitization will.

It is easy to feel hopeless with every act of hatred and violence, but Service Never Sleeps’ work keeps me hopeful. I can feel the collective mourning as a global community, and it reminds me that we have everything we need to ignite this change. Thank you for being part of this love-in-action movement, as we pursue our north star of shared humanity. I often share that Allyship should look like a daily re-commitment to the work ahead. Today’s events ignite my renewed daily commitment to the lifetime of work.

In solidarity,

Whitney Parnell
CEO & Founder
Service Never Sleeps

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