The Next Normal: An Interview with Robyne Walker Murphy

In this episode, we speak with Robyne Walker Murphy, nationally recognized art and social justice educator and Executive Director of Groundswell, a nonprofit which “brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change.”

2020 has presented a big list of challenges to all Americans, most especially African Americans, which was highlighted following the death of George Floyd. We discuss the role of nonprofits in helping communities all across the country to move forward, as well as the question of whether we are heading in a more equitable direction going into 2021. For Robyne, as long as the spirit of love is present among the African American community, and that spirit is being passed on to our youth, there is no extinguishing the flames of social justice.

Ultimately, we discuss the silver linings this year has unveiled, and how we can all tap into the amazing opportunities that have presented themselves during these turbulent times.

Listen in as Robyne explores the possibilities of a post-COVID world, the power of using art to promote social justice, why love drives our advocacy, and looking for partners beyond the nonprofit world.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

●       [0:20] An introduction to Robyne Walker Murphy and Groundswell

●       [4:06] Robyne’s thoughts on current challenges and silver linings

●       [12:10] Embracing and leaning into hope

●       [16:00] Why more people are now understanding the need for public art

●       [19:04] Beyond words and art: Instituting actual systemic changes

●       [28:12] How the youth is pushing Black Lives Matter forward

●       [31:09] Love drives social justice

●       [39:50] Acquiring more funding for small- to mid-sized organizations

●       [42:30] The reality about power and how we can tip the scale

Key quotes:

●       “When people ask, ‘What’s life after COVID?’ It will continue to be the guiding question. I try to stay rooted in questions more than in answers because answers are so finite. If we ask questions, the possibilities are endless.”

●       “As long as I know where I’m at, and I’m not confused on where I’m at, I can work around it.”

●       “Social justice is love. It is love, activated.”

●       “If you’ve never experienced true freedom, it is a constant march toward a reality that you have never seen. That’s also where the hope comes from—when we ignite a radical imagination. You have to radically reimagine what this world can be and work every day to figure out how to get closer to that.”

●       “Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is something that is always within you.”