Flip the script on Social Justice

Andrea Hylen
5 min readFeb 26, 2024
Photo by Cody Pulliam on Unsplash

Week Thirteen: Flip the Script on Social Justice

Day Eighty-five:

“Resistance alone is a losing strategy.” ~Zenobia Jeffries Warfield, Yes! executive editor and Sonali Kolhatkar, Yes! racial justice editor.

On the cover of Yes! magazine’s Winter edition 2022, New Social Justice, there is a drawing of a pink and purple butterfly with words on four different wings:

Resist. Reform. Rebuild. Heal.

The editors of the magazine highlight Leah Penniman’s panel discussion talk where she drew on “Grassroots Economic Organizing’s” butterfly model of transformative social justice.

(Link to Grassroots Economic Organizing website: https://geo.coop/)

The Four Wings for transformative social justice were described like this:

Resistors: the people in the blockades, the protests, the work stoppages.

Reformers: the folks trying to make change from within systems, including schoolteachers and elected officials, like those getting into the prosecutor’s office and working to get prison sentences lowered.

Builders: those who create alternative institutions such as freedom schools, farms, and health clinics.

Healers: the conflict mediators, the therapists, the preachers, the singers, the dancers, the artists — “all the folks that are going to make us well.”

Transformative social justice is not a linear process. It is a circular process of weaving in and out as a resistor, reformer, builder, and healer.

When I look at inter-generational trauma in my family, I tried to be a Reformer, changing the system from within. I went to Al-Anon and I talked about alcoholism and co-dependency in the meetings and brought up the topic in my family. I read books and practiced different ways of communicating. When I felt myself emotionally and mentally dying in an abusive marriage, I became the Resistor and the Builder. Being the resistor, I threw an emotional bomb in the middle of both families by leaving my marriage, It came with a cost of shame and punishment. Slowly, I began to build a new community of support as a Reformer, Builder and Healer in my home. That healing continues today, almost forty…

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Andrea Hylen

Founder of Heal My Voice and The Incubator. Life Scientist. Live house-free. Widow. Mom of Adult Daughters. Grief. Writing Sexuality. Evolutionary Woman