After the complicated climate that the United States experienced during the latter part of 2016 there was a groaning and response by communities of color and people of faith throughout. In the fall of 2017, Roy Garanton and Kirk Davis began to meet after sensing the need for a space for people of faith in the city of San Francisco to process and respond in a way that represented their pain and hopes.
In many ways the conversation was born out of lament with an eye towards redemptive hope. Narratives that created an enemy out of our neighbors, friends and family members, split up the holiday tables became daily occurrences. In our hearts we became concerned with an abundance of stories of failure and communities not seeing leaders of color and other intersectionalities represented in the dialogue. This had practical and measurable consequences, as many opportunities for advancement and leadership were being lost to gentrification, growing hate tendencies and people flight at a rapid pace in our communities. We were being forced to make false choices that created very real divides.
But our conversation was not just deficit focused. We looked for counternarratives! And began to see the Bay Area not as the gloomy spiritual place that many paint it to be. There is a spirit that is good, open, filled with kindness and sincere desire for equity and wellness for our communities that does not exist everywhere. We found the perspective often missing is that we need to be joining the work of what God is already doing in the Bay area (as well as other places), rather than bringing a colonizing tone and solution to every problem. We saw a desire for strong communities and a spirit that fights for what is right instead of what "we're told" or need to unpack. We envision a space where we could help communities and organizations do this for themselves using all the tools at our disposal growing the probabilities for common good to be an everyday possibility for us all.
There were some things that were critical for us 1. Assisting communities, organizations and individuals grow in excellence while being equitable. 2. Practicing sacred activism, not as a religious thing or response to outrage but as a normalized everyday practice that builds up. 3. Using spaces of community and compassionate candor to tell stories that were not curated and promote unity through change. 4. Changing the language of all things leadership to wrap around the reality that everyday people are leaders in their own way and within the own stories. And in doing this developing the next generation of equity leaders in every space. 5. Highlighting the voices of the margins, the silenced, those not in dominant spaces as core to the change we need.
We saw threads, but felt that a home for this did not in fact exist in the Bay Area. And thus, after many meetings and a robust amount of Philz coffee and taqueria love, an idea was born. Rooted, was created “for such a time as this” in the midst of a community full of opportunity and contradiction.
The story is just beginning, its intent is community and we invite you to join us!