Press Release: Announcing the name of our Social Action Initiative
For Immediate Release
Greetings to our Heathen community,
Today, we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. After such a tumultuous year of civil rights marches in 2020 that closely paralleled the marches that followed his assassination only 53 years ago, this Martin Luther King Jr. day is especially poignant.
Today, we seem to have two competing versions of this remarkable man. He’s most popularly represented by those in leadership as the Lutheran Pastor who spoke about peace and unity; a more prosperous future for his people that he would never get to see. This was who he was, and still is, for Black Americans. For everyone else, he was viewed as an agitator; someone who threatened to disrupt the status quo and long established norms that were only serving a select few. His legacy has continued to live on in Black Americans who keep advocating for equitable rights, challenging harmful norms, and still look to his vision for a peaceful and unified future for all marginalized people.
Martin Luther King Jr. called everyone, regardless of background, to courageous action against oppression. The legacy he left us is an unfinished one with invitations to answer these questions:
How will we ensure that the most silenced voices are heard on issues of oppression?
How can we facilitate discussions on racial inequity with sincerity, accountability, and compassion?
How will we disrupt long established norms that are only for the benefit of a few?
Such questions guided us in reshaping our original social media group* into FSOA’s social action initiative. We are pleased to announce that our social action initiative will be named
Pass the Horn
This name was selected for its multilayered meaning and bold compassionate imagery.
The horn cup is universally recognized as an act of hospitality and peace worldwide. It’s an act of goodwill that often precedes negotiations of treaties, offers of peace, and uncomfortable discussions. We believe that the most can be accomplished when we sit down at the table together extending hospitality and mutual respect, even if we must address tense topics.
The horn of Sumbel is particularly important to Heathens. When we gather in a circle in Frith to honor our deities and each other the horn is handed to the person who’s turn it is to speak their truth. The gathering gives them respect and attention. Saying “Pass the Horn” can both be an invitation or a request to pass the horn to the person who needs to speak.
The bullhorn at community action events may be electronic today, but originally it was a hollowed out horn to amplify the voice of the person leading. In this context, we say Pass the Horn to those whose voices most need to be amplified on issues impacting them.
The Warhorn. The one that is as recognizable as its polar opposite (the horn cup). The sound of the warhorn is both inspirational and heartbreaking. It means that peace has failed and that loss has followed. This is always a last resort and only those who stand to suffer greatest have the right to blow the horn that will signal aggressive defensive action.
In the spirit of these values, Pass the Horn will be led and facilitated by a team of intersectional leadership who have been involved in social justice education and experience oppression first hand.
We look forward to embarking on this initiative with our community,
In frith and solidarity,
Forn Sidr of America
If you have a background in social justice education and would like to contribute your voice towards shaping inclusive Heathen communities, please let us know!