Jakada Imani and Konda explore the intersection of spirituality and social justice in relation to the ongoing movement for racial justice.
Jakada Imani is a spiritually rooted coach and trainer with 30 years’ experience working for racial, social and economic justice. He is the Chair of the Board of OneLife Institute, which serves at the intersection of spirituality and social action. Over the last three decades, Jakada has worked for organizations and or supported movements working on campaigning to close youth prisons, fight for workers’ rights, tenant organizing and green jobs. In 2013 he received a ChangeMaker Fellowship from Pacific School of Religion, where he served for two years leading The Ignite Institute, a center for spiritual and social transformation. Current Rev. Jakada serves as the Board President of Greenpeace U.S. You can find more information about Jakada at OneLife Institute and LinkedIn
Spirituality & Social Justice
After diving right into pressing comfort food matters like the proper way to prepare delicious grits, Konda and Jakada open to the heart of the conversation on how to reconcile spirituality with social justice. Elucidating the realities of racism through sharing his past experiences, Jakada uncovers the roots which led him on his carefully balanced path of fighting in social justice movements to enact necessary change, while still fostering and cultivating a relationship to love and spirit. He attributes his successes to his Bay Area activist mentors, such as Konda.
“You get to meet all these amazing people who’ve been in the struggle and can give you game. I got to learn from people, and read amazing things, and talk to folks who are in the struggle about what they’ve been doing, how they did it – not just inspiration, but I got information, the strategies and organizational structures.” – Jakada Imani
Open yourself to a conversation around healing our deepest wounds through the loving power of restorative justice on Ep. 1 of The Brown Rice Hour
Liberation Through Connection (31:00)
Jakada explores his coming to realize the connection between the realms of divine spirit and the realms of the political, material world. In his work youth organizing for anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, and unlearning, he was taught some of the handed-down freedom songs from slave camps his ancestors were forced into. Recognizing that deep down, internally, he knew these songs and the unique, rich spirituality they represented, Jakada realized that the spiritual and the material were two sides of one coin, where only through accepting this balance can we find and offer true liberation.
“I understood that there was this divine realm, and I understood that there was this worldly political realm, and that I was acting as if those two things were not connected.” – Jakada Imani
Learn to ‘see no strangers’ and join a movement of love as a sweet labor through the lens of a civil rights activist on Ep. 126 of the Metta Hour
Ethical Framework for Racial Justice (40:52)
Responding to the George Floyd protests and the surging movement for racial justice, Jakada and Konda talk about the opportunity presented through the portal that this immense suffering has opened. While Jakada is saddened by the loss of a father, a community member, and a loved human being, he is heartened by the notion that this is not a new story, but young people are responding to it in increasingly new ways. They are saying that devastation, heartlessness, and hatred will not be the last word.
“In this tremendous devastation of this man’s life…death creates a portal. It creates a portal for either further death and destruction, or resurrection, renewal, and rebirth.” – Jakada Imani
For more Konda Mason on cultivating resilience in a the face of racial injustice and disparity, tune into Ep. 347 of Mindrolling
Art via @pamelasphotopoetry on Twenty20