Resounding Love was born in the early months of 2020. When we look at our organization now, we see a family “bound together with cords that cannot be broken” – which has grown in number, in reach, and in depth of relationship. And each week we learn new things, like:
- Race-based caucusing creates safety and healing for our members of color, particularly Black members
- Our white members are challenging each other to grow in their antiracism practice
- It’s possible to create both music and family via Zoom
- People are pretty dang creative when forced to set up home recording studios
- You can be both hamstrung and boosted by an all-virtual environment
But how did we get here?
In March 2020, just as the world was beginning to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic, cindy called Marshan while on a walk and described a vision that was so compelling it was keeping her up at night. It was a vision of a group of people brought together by a shared love of each other, of music, and of a message of inclusion and hope. It would not reside in a church, but in the community. It would be explicitly and intentionally multiracial, interfaith and open and affirming of LGBTIQ individuals. About 2.7 seconds into this pitch, Marshan was completely on board. He’d had the same dream for years.
Over the following months, we set to work – drafting by-laws and applying for nonprofit status; recruiting members, a strong board and a leadership team; setting up structures and processes for onboarding, rehearsals and conflict resolution; and refining our vision, mission and core values. We adjusted, like everyone else, to the reality of an unprecedented global pandemic. We instituted race-based caucusing as a key lever in our antiracism practice, to promote both Black healing and white activation. We kept checking in with each other, challenging each other in love and honesty, and keeping that vision as our north star. And the choir – and our dreams – grew.
As we look ahead to 2021, we are incredibly excited to put those dreams into action. For example, a talented team is already deep in planning mode for a musical – that underserved high-school students will write, produce, and perform themselves! We are also exploring ways to deepen our antiracism work through workshops, learning sessions and concrete monthly ‘challenges.’ And when the pandemic is over, we’ll be a hybrid of virtual and physical, taking our music and message wherever we can.
Your donation helps make these dreams a reality – please consider making a contribution here before the end of the year. Thank you for your generous support.
With resounding love,
cindy ogasawara, Co-founder, Co-CEO, & President
Marshan Moultry, Co-founder, Co-CEO, & Artistic Director