Mandy Carter: Unpacking the Power of ‘La Ofrenda’ and Social Change

In a candid and insightful interview, activist Mandy Carter, a stalwart in the world of civil rights and social justice, shared her wisdom and reflections on the transformative concept of ‘La Ofrenda.’ This illuminating conversation, conducted by the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), serves as a prelude to the RCNV’s annual fundraiser, “La Ofrenda,” on October 7, 2023, from 4-6:30 pm at 612 Ocean Street.

Carter’s journey with the RCNV traces back to 1966, a time when the civil rights movement was in full swing, and the tools of civil disobedience became her compass. She delved into the heart of what it means to take a stand for justice and equality, risking one’s freedom in the spirit of a cause they believe in. The sacrifices she made were emblematic of the force of oppression as a collective entity rather than a singular individual, an oppressor whose chains needed to be broken.

In the interview, Carter emphasized the universality of the moral compass that resides in every individual. She highlighted the adaptability of one’s principles based on circumstances and the profound impact of age on personal convictions. “Everyone has a moral compass, and depending on your circumstance, how do you want to act on that? It might be different when I’m 18 from when I’m 80!” she notes with laughter.

Carter’s unwavering commitment to social justice shines through as she passionately encourages everyone to join the fight, regardless of their background or level of experience in organizing. “You don’t have to have any experience [in organizing] to give back; everyone should feel like they’re invited,” she urged.

The forthcoming “La Ofrenda” fundraiser is an event deeply resonant with the philosophy of sacrifice, offering, and collective change. Carter expressed her deep humility and honor in being a part of this transformative journey. “I feel humbled and honored to be able to do this with y’all,” she acknowledged.

The central question that arises from Carter’s conversation is how to shift from individual convictions to a collective ‘we.’ She invites us all to consider the importance of changing not just hearts and minds but also policies that perpetuate inequality. “Each and every one of us has the potential to impact change,” she reminded us.

As the RCNV prepares to host the “La Ofrenda” fundraiser, Mandy Carter’s words offer a beacon of hope and motivation. The event, guided by the concept of offering for change, represents an opportunity for communities to come together, reflect on their collective journey, and renew their commitment to building a just and equitable society.

With the wisdom of decades of activism, Mandy Carter’s interview illuminates the path ahead, emphasizing that the power for change resides within each of us. “La Ofrenda” becomes not just an event but a call to action, an opportunity to take a collective step forward in the pursuit of a better world.

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