Last month Tsuru for Solidarity partnered with local organizations in North Carolina to protest the opening of a new Child Detention Facility. Below is a reflection from a Tsuru member, Mika Chan, who participated in the action.
This past Mother’s Day weekend, I traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina alongside 14 other Tsuru folks for an action to stop the opening of a new child detention center on the grounds of the former American Hebrew Academy. Despite being involved in Tsuru since the summer of 2020, this was the first time I was participating in in-person action work alongside other Tsuru members. I was excited to gain experience and learn from the action, connect with others in attendance and better understand the process of organizing a protest.
Marshaling the action allowed me to observe different aspects and factors coming into play and seeing how it was received by the community. The other marshalls and I noticed how media sources documented the action, how security from the detention center monitored our presence from inside the gates, that cars on the road were doing double-takes to see what was happening, and the number of people on the street who stopped to ask what the action was about.
With Greensboro being the birthplace of the civil rights movements, this action felt so significant and overall served as a grounding reminder that the work we are doing, the mission we hold, and the grounds we stand on are deep rooted and strong. While the action successfully gained traction and attention from media outlets and the Greensboro community, I think another principal component of the action were the connections we made, the spaces we created and the consequent energy we felt with each of our fellow participants.
The entire weekend taught me what healing justice looks like in a plethora of ways. From the healing ceremony during the action, the cross-community Healing Circles during the coalition luncheon, and the numerous grounding sessions throughout the days, I was reminded of the power and importance of sharing lived experiences and turning resiliency into action. On a personal note, I truly felt the “sense of kimochi and united coherent actions” (as Mike mentioned in the debrief Zoom call) that inspired me to join Tsuru for Solidarity back in 2020. I’m beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to join the action and meet others in Greensboro, connect with the Tsuru family and I look forward to continuing the impactful work we are doing in the fight for justice for all.
– Mika Chan