A Poetic Profile of the 2020 Voqal Fellowship: Collective Future

Voqal knows that taking risks with innovative, progressive ideas is necessary to advance social change. The Voqal Fellowship is an investment in people as individuals and budding entrepreneurs; a talent accelerator aimed at giving those often overlooked by traditional funders a chance to enact their visions at center stage. This year’s cohort was fortunate to have Molina Speaks create a poetic manifesto for this year’s Fellowship. This week, we bring you the final entry of that poem, Collective Future.

III. Collective Future

We will fight for a future that we can believe in,
within the balance of light and dark,
life and death, victory and defeat.
We will fight for the dignity of all that is,
all that lives.

We will practice healthy boundaries, empathy,
meaningful communication, and collective healing.
We will imagine big, fight hard, and laugh through the process.

And we will stretch out
properly before we play ball…

(Peanut butter and jelly, high fives, childhood vibes…
roots rice and beans, grits and cornbread…

We will unite the north, the south, the east, and the west,
the summer, the fall, the winter, the spring,
the sunrise, the noon, the dusk and the night,
the gifts of the body, the mind, the spirit, the heart,
the fresh eyes of childhood, the relentless energy of youth,
the strength of the grown, the wisdom of old,
beyond the constructs of race, gender, class
and the lies we are collectively told.

We acknowledge that desperation propels action.
We will maintain our faith, and part ways with false hope.
While our work may fall short, or be undone,
we know it’s a long run, and all shortcomings aside,
it does not mean our work was not done.
We will ensure that our stories are told.

We live on, future ancestors, within each breath.
We will honor our work and the roots of our inspiration,
protecting this feeling with life and death.

We will place ourselves, our friends,
our families and our communities in the future.
We will remain faithful in what we are called to do,
even in the face of the unfaithful,
through the agonies of defeat,
for in this universe or the next,
we will win, because we are winning,
because this is love work, collected,
released, pollinated, reflected.

We are a Collective

Learn more about this year’s Voqal Fellowship cohort on our fellowships page