Solidarity Is Always in Season, by Ricardo Levins Morales

January 5, 2021
(Used by kind permission of Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio)

Ricardo Levins Morales is an organizer, workshop leader, and social justice strategist. He describes himself as a “healer and trickster organizer disguised as an artist.” One appreciator has called him “a litmus test of conscience.” Born in Puerto Rico, Morales moved as a young boy to Chicago, where he saw injustice, oppression, and Black and Brown communities harmed by White privilege. It was there he learned the work of organizing, influenced especially by the work of his mother. He recently wrote about her on his website:

You just did what needed doing. Even when you were afraid. Even when you might have to stand alone. “I am political in spite of myself,” you wrote. “I don’t want to do the things I know I have to do, don’t want to expose myself to disapproval, to retribution, don’t want to go to meetings and demonstrations, distribute leaflets, don’t want to ask people for signatures, for money.” But you did them. “Because I know I’ve got to.”

This work—supporting and advocating for communities in crisis struggling for change—is what Morales continues, with that sense of “because I know I’ve got to.” Morales brings a current of hope. He insists change can come—it will come. And he willingly trains, resources, organizes, and creates accessible works of art to envision and build toward that systematic social change. With each poster, each card, each zine, and with his new 2021 Liberation Calendar, his art does the work of speaking hope as a call to action. As this piece says: “Solidarity is always in season.”