As I headed to Generation Justice on August 10, 2015, I honored our Pueblo Independence Day with prayers of healing, strength, peace and love for all creation. The universe answered back that morning when I met GJ Advisor and Fellowship Trainer Roberto Chene. Roberto is an expert and consultant for intercultural communication, leadership and conflict resolution. He has been training GJ fellows on decolonization and historical trauma for years.
During our training, we discussed the effects of internalized oppression, historical and generational trauma, and resolutions to these barriers that often hold us back from our full potential. After we shared our personal stories, I felt empowered and happy to learn how we all related in many ways. I believe this is what we needed to grow together and make positive changes in our community.
Roberto explained how internalized oppression plays a vital role in the ways we interpret and interact in society. Listening to Roberto’s reflections taught me to view the bigger picture of oppression. Since then, it has been a healing experience for me. I have come to accept the challenges we face and imagine ways our society can resolve them. I have learned that when we put our heart and mind into our personal growth, we will then be able to use that energy to collectively grow with others.
The training with Roberto reminded me of why I applied to work at Generation Justice. I strongly agree with the core values we practice here at GJ, and I am always excited to learn from the like-minded mentors invited to teach us. It was an honor to gain knowledge from Roberto. The advice he shared from his heart is now a light that guides me to persistently practice the act of decolonization. Roberto told me that seeking and sharing our truth were the first steps to our individual healing, which would help ensure that we could also help to heal our nations.
I will forever be grateful to have met such a wise and caring elder like Roberto Chene. He gave me an enlightening experience that helped me realize how our lives are all connected to the universe and each other. Even though it is massive and mysterious, it will constantly show us it’s wonders. One phrase I will always cherish from our discussion was Roberta’s quote:
“A soldier is somebody who fights and dies for the hate of their enemy. A warrior is somebody who lives and fights for the love of their people.”
I feel that this quote is a great example of the work that we want to accomplish together here at Generation Justice. I am thankful to be advised by warriors like Roberto Chene.