By Rev. Brittany Graves

After two weeks since Inauguration Day, I’m still taking in the fact that we have a new President. Four unpleasant years of the previous administration feels like a weight lifted off our shoulders for many of us. The unmasking of overt violence in America over the last year feels like the aha moment many of my black friends have awaited non-black and privileged people to understand and believe.

The white supremacist led insurrection, police brutality against black and brown bodies, and many other injustices taking over our media outlets this past year has all given us ample opportunity to see our nation’s true colors and decide how to respond.

Black and brown people have always known and experienced subtle and often extreme differences in treatment. When you add in sexuality and gender identity the likelihood of discrimination often increases. It is an intricate balance of holding space for frustration or grief, without falling into despair or even apathy.

Everything will not immediately turn around with the Biden administration, but it certainly provides greater capacity to dream and become visionaries for a more equitable world. As President Biden makes strides to undue many harmful laws and advocates name the change we want to see, this year feels like one in which we can become deeply rooted in the dreams we want to manifest. This is what I choose to embrace.

It is possible to live into the good or difficult in each present moment AND actively breathe and create new life into the future! 

I implore you to find the good and the gratitude in every day. When it cannot be found, let grief move through you until it finds its way out. Then when you are ready, strive to build a world anew comprised from beautiful visionaries. 

Questions to consider:

  • What are some truths that you are holding that might feel like a paradox from the present and the future?
  • How can you become a visionary that strives to create from your unique giftedness?  

What you can be:

  • Be present & be grounded. Dream beyond old paradigms & unjust systems.
  • Be grateful. Find moments of gratitude, even in moments that may be filled with grief.

Quote from Bell Hooks & Maryam Hasnaa:

“To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.” – Bell Hooks

“You don’t create by focusing on the old. Instead focus on the new in a way that the old becomes obsolete. -Maryam Hasnaa


May we be deeply rooted and dream beyond what the present moment may bring. Good, bad, or in between, let every moment we sift and move through grant us harmony. That we may ascend into the best version of ourselves. As we live as visionaries, let spirit sharpen and nudge us to be connected to the best parts of our humanity and be fully resourced with the divine. May we lead and make space for generations that will come after us.  


Rev. Brittany Graves is associate coordinator, Public Witness & Advocacy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She welcomes your input at [email protected] and engagement on Instagram @ambitiouslyBrittany.

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