In 2020, Let's Decolonize Thanksgiving

There are 36 days left in 2020…not like we are counting or anything. 2020 has been one for the history books—a pandemic unlike any we have seen since 1918. An uprising for Racial Justice, one that has been a long time coming and that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities have been waiting and preparing for. Throw in a contentious Presidential election on top of us working from home for the past 9 months. And even with all of this, the work doesn’t end.

As we come upon the "holiday" we call Thanksgiving it is important that we recognize this is also the 51st Day of Mourning for Indigenous communities across this land. Our history has been re-written to portray scenes of peace and unity when Indigenous communities were in actuality experiencing harm as a direct result of colonization. We say this because we must name the genocide, the stolen lands. We must come to terms and reckon with the uncomfortable feelings that might arise. We cannot heal, repair harm, or progress unless we name and acknowledge these truths.

We encourage you to check out the resources at the bottom of this post to continue gaining knowledge, to decolonize Thanksgiving.

We also know that for many of us, this is a day of giving thanks, of sharing gratitude’s for one another and for the positive experiences in 2020. We should still do this, and we shouldn’t limit these acts to only one day. What we have learned this year is to never take a day for granted—to tell your beloveds “I love you” or to reach out to a friend who you may have lost touch with over time and life.

How can we break the habit of only giving thanks one time per year and create an active practice of regularly sharing appreciation and love?

We are in a unique moment in time, where we can transform how we take up space in our communities, in this country, and in this world. May this be the first step of many where we begin to lead with love, where we continue centering BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, who despite all the exclusion they experience, continue showing up time and again for all of us.

While we celebrate dinner with friends or family over Zoom or Facetime to share our thanks, I invite us all to also share our commitments on what we will do in these next 36 days and beyond.

*Images are from Project 562's Instagram Page, and were created by @ArtbyCiara. Please go follow their page and support their work.*