Goodbye #GETMAD...Bye for now

Goodbye #GETMAD...Bye for now
Remember those black squares that everyone posted in 2020? ⁠✊🏾
We posted one, too. But if we all merely post a black square, it means nothing. Our actions have to always line up with our words. And at Mad Priest, we are always looking for new ways to Get Mad about injustice and truly make a difference. ⁠
So, this year we tried something different.
Our #GetMad Crusade was a six month educational conversation exploring six different topics of injustice in our world that we're mad about. The goal was to cultivate curiosity and understanding by exploring these difficult, nuanced issues with experts in each field.
It was a lot. A lot of research. A lot of time. A lot of energy. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears. These 6 topics are so massive, it could take 6 months to dig deep in to just one of them. It's not "normal" for a small business to put so much into education and awareness. We're not making money off of any of this haha, and we still have to pay our bills. 
But it was so worth it! Even if none of you listened to any of the interviews, WE learned a lot. We have been challenged. We have grown. We do hope you've listened to a few of the interviews on Youtube or Spotify, though. If not, take a second and scroll through our Get Mad Resources page with all the links! 
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We asked our team if they wanted to share something they learned, a fav topic, and/or their fav merch item. Here's what some of them said...
1. What was one thing you learned from the content of the Crusade?
2. Did you have a favorite interview or topic that we covered?
3. Do you have a favorite #GetMad merch item? 
1. As I started to work on these subjects, I started to learn how so many of these topics can be connected to each other. I didn't realize how bad it was here in the United States with incarceration, I was curious in understanding the reasons behind which has to do with profit. Even the War on Drugs and arresting people over a little bit of weed or people who struggle with drugs it ends up being a cycle with no help but causing a new problem for them. 
2. My favorite topic was probably the refugee crisis, I thought I knew a lot about it but I was wrong. I didn't realize the severity of the issue and how it rapidly growing rate. I went to a world refugee day event here in Chattanooga and met people at the event who had to leave their lives some fairly recent with the war in Ukraine and some from past conflicts. 
3. This is a difficult question, the mushroom pin for sure as well as the war on drugs tee then the classic Get Mad tote. I can't choose one there are so many good pieces! 
1. Renaldo Hudson's interview was my favorite! And as a zine fan I appreciated Plight of the Girl: The Story of Dorothy Belle Young.
3. Merch recommendation is the I Kissed Sh*t Coffee Goodbye tote!
1. I’ve learned that the US has an un proportionate amount of incarcerated people, particularly people of color. 
2. My favorite topic war the Drug War.
3. My favorite merch was the drug war tee and the F$$K billionaire hat.
1. Whew lord I thought I knew a lot about most of these topics, but I've learned so much more. Definitely read "Jesus and John Wayne" and listen to Renaldo Hudson's interview! 
2. All of these topics are so important, but I think Christian Nationalism and Incarceration are the ones that folks really need to hear about.
3. The St. George Tee hands down is the best! 
1/2. Incarceration - all the interviews! Everything about this topic!
3. The drug war mushroom pin & 6 line Get Mad tee are my favorite pieces of merch...and the drug war shirt that's sold out haha. 
1. I learned how quickly people, due to their pride, can be turned off by a simple topic.
1. All of my life I never paid much attention to the incarceration laws in the US, but after I listened to the podcast with Paula Mallea about her own thoughts and experience with criminal laws and justice in the US, I learned a lot about the injustices that a ton of people go through and the inhumane ways they are treated for consuming a drug. I think the 6 month crusade made me sit down and listen, and it also made me want to be more aware of the world that surrounds me. 
3. I think the "I kissed $#!T coffee goodbye" tote bag is a funny reference to the "I kissed dating goodbye" book that is so famous in the Christian conservative communities. It's my favorite, because it looks cool and I relate to it in some ways haha. 
* * * 
Thoughts from the "High Priest of Coffee" aka Owner/CEO, Michael Rice . . . 

"The #GetMad Crusade was ultimately an opportunity for us to learn, and share what we are learning with our customers. We learned way more than we anticipated! But it was also overwhelming to realize how much we as humans have to do in the face of such immense injustice. We only focused on 6 issues of injustice, but each one could take over a year to research and share information on...not to mention all the issues that we didn't even cover. 

I got to meet a lot of amazing people this year, and I'm extremely encouraged by these folks doing impressive work that is truly making a difference!  A few of my favorites that I interviewed are Dr. Carl Hart (Professor, Psychologist, & Neuroscientist) and Renaldo Hudson (Formerly Incarcerated, Educator at IPP & Community Organizer). Go check out the interviews on Youtube or Spotify! 

And I was really inspired by all the books I've read. But one that sticks out is "The Broken Ladder - How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die" by Keith Payne. We need to learn how to view the world without the lens of our implicit biases. 

Either way, we will continue to do this important work at Mad Priest, whether it's an official campaign or not. We want to do better as humans, love our neighbors, treat everyone with dignity and respect." 
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And just so you know, we are closing out this year's Get Mad Crusade for now, but we will always post stuff about social justice...because the Mad Priest is mad-crazy with a little too much coffee and mad-righteously angry about injustice.
Friends, now more than ever, let's continue learning to walk in empathy, pursue justice, and play our small part in creating a better, more curious world.⁠
Get Mad.
Stay Blessed. 

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