One of the things that I absolutely love about The Justice Conference is its display of art such as music, poetry, and films to contribute to the conversation on justice. Artist Justin Dillon, Founder of Made in a Free World, spoke earlier today on the importance of seeing justice as an art form. He shared three things that we must employ in this adventure of artistic creation, advocacy, and solution-making for our justice movement.
First, we must embrace our vulnerability. When we do something as an artist that is new it is a very stretching experience because people might not like it, it might fail, and it will disrupt and frustrate the way you think plans need to happen. The benefits of exploring and sharing your vulnerability is that you can find people who will participate in something and with someone that has transparent, humble, and honest convictions about an issue- even if you’re not considered an expert.
Second, we must learn that doing justice isn’t about us, our organization or network, but it’s about everyone else- the people we are serving, believing, and hoping a more just existence for. This requires making spaces of participation with others. Those other people will include those who want to go with you on the adventure of justice. Dillon said, “The world doesn’t need more information, it needs invitation.” That doesn’t mean we do our work void of facts, stories, and sustainable practices but it does mean that we don’t make awareness the final destination. This destination is change.
This change leads us to the third point which was: build a world you want to live in. This change can look like what the city of San Francisco did in granting a little boy his wish of being Batman for a day. It can look like helping orphans, working to end slavery, and teaching kids at a school. We need to stop just being activists, “shoulding” all over people. We need to be solution-ists and say “Let’s go!”
A final quote that I found inspiring from Dillon was “Don’t let the darkness stifle your curiosity.” Dare to be bold and creative in community for those you are reaching out to with the desire to love and be just.