Naiomi Lundman’s purpose in establishing the Dairyland Brickyard and becoming a Brickyard Leader

Dairyland Brickyard, WI

Naiomi Lundman   |   April 26, 2024

I am a seasoned learner and doer with a consistent drive for service, a professional who has worked and lived in various states and countries, and a person who enjoys applying business approaches to address social ills. When I returned to the USA after several years away, the division and fear among our people were readily noticeable. Having experienced another country’s harsh division challenges and witnessed the tenacity of folks to address them, I felt I needed to do my part at home. This motivated me to join +MPU and start a chapter in my home state.

My home state is Wisconsin and our chapter is called the Dairyland Brickyard. We are Midwestern folks who know the benefit of hard work, the pride of caring for one’s family and community, and the value of a tasty beer. It is also a battleground state for the political arena where our values and heartstrings become instruments for political conductors. Yet we are often grounded in relationships built over decades or even generations, making the conductors’ work more difficult.

Still, I witnessed in another country how political conductor types, wielding messaging targeting people’s resentments, identities, and wounds, ignited neighbors to turn against neighbors. My colleagues recounted stories of how people were being grabbed and killed based on the names on their ID cards. Youth that had lost hope for their lives became mercenaries of those seeking power and control – responding to messaging that compelled them to kill mercilessly elderly, women, and children. The town that I grew to love and call home had become a place of death – a murderous death that energized the very air so that it had literal weight and could be physically felt.

It is in such times that heroic actions come from the common person. Friends and colleagues risked their lives to save others. My team gathered our multi-ethnic staff and their families in our workshop and prayed and worshiped during the chaos. Out of this tragedy, the strong, compassionate voices rose. The calls for reform. The calls for justice. People became more dedicated to knitting together the holes in their societal fabric.

And I see that happening now across our nation. Groups and organizations have formed to address these similar challenges – hate speech, identity politics, fear messaging — in our own country, +More Perfect Union being one of them. Americans have the structures to wield civic power – solid election system and process, private voting, direct democratic influence at state-level, division of power at the federal level, republic representation at the federal level, rule of law, and more. We also have a long-standing foundational value of helping our neighbors. We have a lot to work from to strengthen the fabric of our nation and I remain hopeful in “we the people.”

Naiomi (center) and members in a Dairyland Brickyard Winter Soup Night event.