To our TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch whānau,

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane.
A great tree has fallen in the forest of Tane.


Like you, we are devastated by what happened last Friday.

Our hearts are heavy with grief. Grief for the dead and the injured. Grief for those who had their loved ones so suddenly stolen from them. Grief for the shattering of our sense of safety. Grief that we as a nation have not done more to confront the racism that still exists within our borders. We are so, so sorry.

We are also grateful, to so many. To those phenomenally brave souls at and near the mosques who fought back. To the police and the first responders, who ran towards danger rather than away. To the medical personnel, who are working tirelessly. To our political leaders, who are presenting a united front, focused on love, respect, answers, and the way forward. To the parents, educators, imams, rabbis, pastors, community leaders, business leaders -- to those creating space for people to grieve, to ask questions, to process. We are grateful for the love and compassion in this community, which will keep us moving towards each other rather than away.

Our friend—and former TEDxChristchurch speaker—Laura O'Connell Rapira has shared a wonderful list of resources for you to support our Muslim whānau, but the strength of TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch is in the ideas that we share. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of talks from around the world appropriate to this time: talks about Islam and Islamophobia, about compassion and radical love. We hope they give you some measure of solace. While each of the above talks is powerful in its own right, they are all versions of a fundamental truth—to paraphrase Max Ehrmann, we are all children of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; we have a right to be here. We wish you peace and love over the coming days and weeks.

Aroha mai, aroha atu,
The TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch teams


Invocation
The wind brings your names.
We will never dissever your names
nor your shadows beneath each branch and tree.

The truth comes in on the wind, is carried by water.
There is such a thing as the truth. Tell us
how you got over. Say, Soul look back in wonder.

Your names were never lost,
each name a holy word.
The rocks cry out –

call out each name to sanctify this place.
Sounds in human voices, silver or soil,
a moon, a sorrow song,

a keen, a cackle, harmony,
a hymnal, handbook, chart,
a sacred text, a stomp, an exhortation.

Ancestors, you will find us still in cages,
despised and disciplined.
You will find us still mis-named.

Here you will find us despite.
You will not find us extinct.
You will find us here memoried and storied.

You will find us here mighty.
You will find us here divine.
You will find us where you left us, but not as you left us.

Here you endure and are luminous.
You are not lost to us.
The wind carries sorrows, sighs, and shouts.

The wind brings everything. Nothing is lost. 


Elizabeth Alexander


 
Copyright © 2019 TEDxChristchurch, All rights reserved.


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