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Meet Tracy Stewart

Meet Seattle organizer and BPF-er Tracy Stewart!

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BPF: What is something you’re proud of that you worked on this year?

Tracy Stewart: I got really engaged with the Block the Bunker coalition in Seattle this year. After much organizing, we have succeed in suspending the City’s plans to build a militarized police bunker. So many people have come together in this fight, and it has been a true manifestation of my philosophy of “radical collaboration” — we all showed up for each other’s fight and amplified it until we couldn’t be ignored. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done, and the organizing we are continuing to do. Follow the #BlockTheBunker campaign!

BPF: How has the Block Build Be retreat inspired your work?

Tracy Stewart: I have been so inspired by others in our group. Aaron Goggans has an incredible ability to explain the fight and struggle in an intellectual but straightforward and poignant way. I love listening to him and getting sparked to think deeper and more long-term about the movement. And Danielle St. Louis! I am so moved by her quiet and strong approach to the dharma. Jun Hamamoto is doing incredible work bringing dharma into prisons, and her spirit alone inspires me! The list could go on. Everyone there was so unique. It reminded me that all of us are important, and all of us have important ideas and contributions. When I have moments of self-doubt in my work, I think back to our time together and how valued and validated I felt by the group. I am also reminded that it’s not about me. It’s about this interconnection of peaceful yet powerful protest.

BPF: How did the Block Build Be Leadership Retreat inspire or support the work you do?

Tracy Stewart: The retreat was fantastic! I greatly appreciated the authentic conversations we had about our practice, how we envision social justice work, how we approach it from dharmic perspective, and the struggles around that. I especially appreciated our POC caucus, and how we met in our identity groups and then came together as a larger POC caucus. We got to talk about what it really means to advocate each other, including the painful and uncomfortable truth of when we don’t feel supported by each other. Many of us hadn’t even met each other before! But there was great bravery there, to have the difficult conversations and then to show up as we are. To cry and be vulnerable: it was healing to share that.

© 2017 Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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