Earlier this month, we hosted Humanity Through Community—an event engaging the challenges of community in a changing context. Creative, attorney, and organizer Nikkita Oliver and scholar Robin DiAngelo joined us to grapple with the themes of healing and resistance, followed by panels inviting socially engaged people of faith to critically engage the challenges of our culture.

Here, you can see Nikkita Oliver’s morning talk, a vibrant and powerful call for us to consider how we conceive of and talk about resilience and justice, and to remember that it is not nearly enough to merely talk about justice. Nikkita reminds us that it is not enough to applaud resilience and celebrate the rose growing through the cracks in the sidewalk; we must “question the ugliness of the system that doesn’t want us to survive,” and question those who pour the concrete in the first place.

Nikkita opens with a stunning poem rooted in lessons she learned from her family, lessons that shine light on the dehumanizing systems around them. She then explores compelling ideas around resilience, white supremacy, reparations, and love, driving home the deep belief that love is not love if it does not recognize the fundamental wholeness of other people. “A truly deep, honest love is going to do that hard work. Love is about action, it’s not about words. You can say ‘I love you,’ but if you don’t act like you love me I’m just not going to believe you.”

Watch the panel discussion that followed Nikkita Oliver’s talk.