We often speak of independence as if it is a singular concept, but true freedom is an actuality that comes to us as a nation through a series of laws, amendments, bills, policies, and so forth. However, personal freedoms, as we are learning, are fragile. We tout our individualism, but the truth is we are interdependent and need each other to survive. The pandemic showcased that we are indeed stronger together. We learned to depend on technology and strangers in an entirely new way.

It’s said that the first will be the last and the last will be the first, and in those moments, we cheered for those who often went unseen. Now, we have moved them back into society’s shadows, forgetting how we could not survive without the sacrifices grocery store clerks, nurses, teachers, and others made to keep us safe and moving forward. We still owe them so much, those that survived. During that time, we lost so many and so much, and now we are losing the freedoms we cherish. The freedom to thrive in a nation built for prosperity is being challenged, and we continue to push for everyone to experience the fullness of this nation’s promises.

But what is coming down the pike, no longer hidden in plain sight, is a plan to deny us any opportunities to be ourselves, to fulfill our destiny, and to live our dreams of success. Though I was not born during Jim Crow, I am the first generation born after it ended, but the infrastructure was still very much alive. One thing I know for sure is that I am not interested in living in a monarchy or within the structure of Jim Crow. This time, it will affect everyone who does not conform to the plans in place.

Often, when I talk about voting, I speak of the past—how people died for our right to vote and live where we want to live, how people died for the rights of women, and how people fought to have the freedom to love who they want. But during this moment, I feel it is important to speak of the future, a future that includes everyone.

I remember when a good friend of mine was starting her business. I went through my MVP Process with her. It is a process I created to help people get clear about their future. The end of the process involves creating a vision board. She took the vision board component and added it to her business model. She had her employees add their dreams to the company’s board. This idea encompasses Dr. King’s discussion of interdependence and the wisdom that we are stronger together. This vision board not only helped make the company successful, but the employees also experienced their dreams coming true. If we focus on our dreams and understand that others also have their dreams, we can all forge a win together. That is what is before us in the decisions we will make in the next few months—the understanding that when I win, we all win. That is the fundamental focus of true community.

I was watching an interview with VP Kamala Harris and the guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It was a very interesting conversation. As much as I think I know, I try to stay open to learn more about other communities. In that conversation, they began to speak about IVF, and I was a bit confused, but it piqued my interest. I had the biggest OMG moment. In my anger about what was happening to women’s reproductive rights, I never once considered how it impacted the queer community. That is how several people in that community are blessed with children and the ability to have the families they dream of. Although I decided long ago not to become a parent, I talk about it on my podcast, I would not want anyone who is on that path to be denied the ability to have a child of their own. Not only will I support them, but I will fight right alongside them.

That is the future—the realization that not only do our issues intersect, but for all of us to build our legacy and a path to liberation for future generations, we have to do it together as fiercely as others are trying to tear us apart. We all have our opinions of each other and the lives that we live, but I love living in a country that allows it to happen, that allows debate, allows for civil discourse, and allows us to uphold the Constitution even though there are parts I wish were erased. My entire point is I am voting for an administration that sees my humanity and paves roads for my dreams to flourish. That allows me to complain and still makes sure that I have the right to speak freely, choose who I want to pray to, what I want to read, love who I want, and make choices for my body. There is a clear line in the sand, and I hope that your choices include my ability to actualize my dreams, just like my choice includes your ability to actualize yours. The future is forward.

Peace and Blessings,
Monica Wisdom
Chief Mentor, Black Women Amplified & Amplified Podcasting Academy