For the past 5 years, Mijente has been deep in the fight for Latinx rights, justice, and change. In pursuit of developing a political home outside of current structures that don’t serve our interests, we mobilized and organized our communities, through online and in-real-life connections, actions, and training. At this moment, we’re looking to the future of our organizing, what the next five years can look like, and taking purposeful action to get there — including a month-long social media break.
A Look At Where We’ve Been
In 2020, with the challenges brought on by the global pandemic and the immense toll it was taking on Latinx communities, we knew it was more important than ever to double down on our commitment to the wellbeing of our gente — which meant safely putting in the work to say #FueraTrump at the ballot boxes. It meant knocking on every Latino door in Georgia with our partners GLAHR Action Network to win a Democratic majority in the Senate.
Together with our members, volunteers, donors, partners, and allies, we made history happen. Through all this, our presence on social platforms grew, bolstered both by our electoral and campaign efforts and the rapid spike in usership during the pandemic and with the People’s Uprising protests.
Over the past six month process of organizational restructuring and growth, we thought through the opportunities and challenges of social media, and our goals within the platforms. In this time of social activism and rapid response posts, we are taking a deeper look at what it means to build power and relationships through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and for us that means stepping away and looking inward.
Clearing Room for What’s Next
Starting Friday September 3rd, we’ll be going silent on our social media. This means that we’ll refrain from posting, sharing, and tweeting on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms. We’re looking at this time as Mijente’s social media limpia.
In Spanish, the word limpia can mean “cleaning”, “clearing”, or “cleansing”. A limpia is a traditional ritual done to cleanse the mind, spirit, and body from energies that are holding a person stuck or stagnant. Practiced in Mexico, and Central and South American countries, limpias can be used as diagnostics to identify and remove any negativity and plain old gunk, and are especially used during major life transitions. In this time of restructuring our organization, our social media silence mirrors the traditional limpia in that it will be used to help us shed any stagnant energy, revitalize our communication tactics, and guide us to a new path. We’ll be refocusing our energy and organizing tactics, brushing off old barriers and blocks, naming gaps and addressing imbalances, and seeking more clarity and opportunities for growth.
This decision came out of our commitment to build power; our principles of creating leaderful spaces that continue evolving; and our examining and innovating on how best to accomplish our goals. We can’t deny that social media has changed the way people come together and mobilize around social and political issues. It has amplified our messages and informed our audiences. And at the same time, the reach and spread of information hasn’t always led to the wins and actions we needed to secure tangible, transformational change.
We understand the significance of going silent on our platforms for an extended amount of time, and how it may seem like we’re absent from critical conversations*. It is precisely because we take our influence on social media seriously that we are investing in this time to reflect and refresh, and build up even more strategically for the future.
We asked ourselves: Does our social media reflect what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization? What are opportunities to better center core organizing principles in our approach? How do we foster interactions that lead to real-life connections that strengthen our communities?
Our goal is for our social media platforms to not only highlight our organizing efforts, but to be tools that can be used to better organize and reflect what our communities need. And that the impact of our posting leads to increased on the ground action and engagement, translating online excitement or rage, to offline power and action. In considering the social media limpia, we spoke to movement leaders from Dream Defenders who’d successfully navigated through their own social media hiatus, to gain insight on tactics and lessons learned.
So we are re-grounding in our strategy, adapting in order to meet the demands of this time, and evolving as a movement organization. During the limpia, our team is growing and the work on the ground will continue. Instead of social media, we will continue our use of longform media — so you can follow along with our local and national efforts by joining our mailing list or visiting our blog.
We’ll be back in October, excited to come back fresh and to share our learnings.
Nos vemos pronto.
* Note: as our efforts and actions continue outside of social media, we are willing to briefly interrupt the social media limpia to amplify historic, notable events (such as if the Biden Administration were to call for an end to trans detention). Such moments will be determined by our leadership.