We are reaching out with a request - a request to LOVE UP ON SUSAN RAFFO!!!
**Note: Please if at all possible direct any questions/concerns/ communication about this to any of us (Mankwe, Lex, Eiko, Marie, griffen) and not to Susan. Trying to have this be something that is truly given to Susan, not another thing she has to work for. Additionally, please DO NOT share this on social media at this time, but please DO share with others by email!!**
Susan has been working her ass off for, well, pretty much her whole life in the service of liberation of all of us. Many have experienced the impact of this directly. Those of us writing this ask have received bodywork from her that we would not otherwise have had access to, had our bodies and lives changed from her work, friendship and leadership, and experienced shifts in the way we see and want to be in the world through witnessing and being in relationship with her.
There are endless stories about how Susan’s love and generosity has shaped, impacted, changed, supported, transformed so many lives. She has regularly offered lower cost or free bodywork to so many people, and has given zillions of unpaid hours to People’s Movement Center and other healing justice/organizing work.
And now, she needs time off - where she is not constantly showing up for everyone other than herself. To breathe, to write, to just be and feel herself and the world in the ways that she constantly supports many of us to feel ourselves and the world. Because she does this work directly in communities, she does not have paid leave time or other organizational backing to take this time. So we are reaching out to her communities to support her in taking a sabbatical.
Susan is also transitioning into her full eldership. Many of us lack elders in our movement work. This happens for so many reasons. One we have been reflecting on is how our society doesn’t support folks as they get older to continue and be sustainable in this work.
To be clear, Susan is not in a crisis. We believe it is important for us to sustain each other before we are in places of crisis - this is an opportunity to do just that. Recognizing that many of us are in crisis at this time, which needs to be a priority, we are reaching out to ask for support of our friend, colleague and leader Susan, as fully as you are able.
There are a few ways to offer support:
1-Money! Recognizing the constant money insecurity that exists for so many of us, and that Susan is aware of her own privilege in this regard, we still want her to be supported and for her to not have to acutely think about this while she is on her sabbatical. Her work and life contributes to and is in deep relationship with both so many individuals and larger movement work. We ask that you give what is possible at this time.
2-Send us (send to griffen at [email redacted] or email him to coordinate drop off if it is not email-able) a supportive love note or piece of art for Susan that says something about what you love about her/how she has impacted you/how much you want her to have this time for herself. We’ll give these to Susan and let her know that there is NO expectation of response from her to these.
3-If in reading this, you’re thinking about other elders in your life who need this support as much or more but perhaps have less access to connection/community resource, please direct your attention there instead. Be in touch with us if there’s a way to collaborate in sharing publicity, etc to support other elders, or if you want to be in conversation about how we do this sustainably over time.
Thank you for your love and connection with Susan, for taking the time to consider this ask, and for the good love and healing work you do in the world.
With much love to each of you,
Mankwe Ndosi, Lex Horan, Eiko Mizushima, Marie Michael, griffen jeffries
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