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Sustaining the Soul of Activism is a creative project that seeks to support the resilience and wellbeing of organizers, activists, change-makers, community healers, and others working for social justice and transformation.


We live in critical times. This climate of escalating state violence and white supremacy, of income inequality, rising fascism, and environmental degradation is both a staggering assault and a catalyst, rallying a new determination for radical change.


In order to bring our best selves to the world-making work before us, and to assure our long-term sustainability in that work, we must nourish the deepest sources of our inspiration and renewal. We must lift one another up, and be pulled by a purpose and possibility that gives us the strength to carry on. We must tend to the spiritual wellbeing of individuals and communities – healing legacies of trauma and transforming ongoing brutality.


The answers and the inspiration are found in our collective wisdom. This project – a book and companion multimedia website – invites submissions from activists and change-makers across generations, movements, cultures, faiths, and contexts. It will intentionally center the voices and vision of people of color.


We imagined it at first as something akin to a book of daily inspirational readings or meditations by and for front line activists. But the vision grew to encompass a broader range of expressions:  poetry, prayers, practices, reflections, spells, spoken word, art, music, videos, love letters, and whatever else might give voice to the power of the Spirit within us all that animates and sustains our work for a better world.

Think of it as collectively sourced soul medicine.

What words of tenderness and strength do you offer to a weary comrade? ... What practices do you use to maintain balance in the face of trauma and burnout? ... What wisdom would you share with someone new to activist engagement? ... How do you stay connected to hope? ...  What makes your activism feel life-giving and sacred rather than depleting? ... What is your prayer for healing and liberation?


We invite your contributions. And we ask that you share this invitation with your networks – locally, nationally, internationally. Submission guidelines are below.

Sustaining the Soul of Activism is a project of OneLife Institute. Founded in 2004, OneLife is a people of color centered organization serving at the intersection of spirituality and social transformation. Our mission is to nurture, inspire, and sustain people committed to healing and justice. In 2010 OneLife launched our Sustaining the Soul of Activism workshops and retreats. This book grows out of that work.

This project is a love offering. Income generated will first be used to reimburse production expenses. Any remaining proceeds will be donated to support the programs of OneLife Institute. Contributors will retain the rights to their individual creative works.  Editors / curators for this project are Liza J. Rankow and Barbara A. Holmes.



Dr. Barbara A. Holmes

Barbara has worked as a professor and administrator in theological education, and is President Emerita of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She currently works as a spiritual teacher, focusing on the relationship between contemplation, mysticism and activism. Her books invoke themes of racial justice through cosmology, rhetorical analysis and African American history. Selected titles include: Race & the Cosmos (2002); Liberation & the Cosmos (2008); Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church (2004/2017).

Dr. Liza J. Rankow

Liza is an interfaith minister, educator, activist, and writer. Her work centers the personal and collective healing that is essential to authentic justice and social transformation. Liza has provided counseling and offered classes and workshops on spiritual development for over 25 years. Her academic work explores the powerful synergy between mysticism and social change. She draws great inspiration from the teachings of Dr. Howard Thurman, and is producer and co-editor of the six-CD audio collection, The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman, published by Sounds True (2010).

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Because we understand the very real need for this work, we want to get it out into the world as soon as possible. Our preliminary deadline for writing to be considered for publication in the book was Dec. 31, 2018 >> DEADLINE EXTENDED - please contact us at the email address listed below. We will receive multimedia submissions for the website on an ongoing basis, so it will continue to be a vital and living resource.





In the body of an email, please include your name, email address, phone, and a brief bio. If you have a website, blog, or social media pages, feel free to include those. Add attachments or links as outlined below, according to the type of submission.


Please put your name and the type of submission (writing, art, media) in the subject line of the email. To submit multiple types of work, please send a separate email for each medium. For example:  Regina Jones – writing   | or |  John Chang – spoken word video


Email submissions to:


• Written Works:

Please email as an attached word document file.


• Visual Art:

Please email jpegs or send a link to a page where your submissions may be viewed online (clearly indicating which pieces you would like us to consider). Include titles and medium of works, and a brief artist statement for each piece or series.


• Spoken Word, Music, Film, etc: 

Please email links to online videos of your work (on Youtube, Vimeo, etc) – please do not send video files directly.


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