Greetings Beloved Warriors
I seek that this day finds you with a peace of mind. Below is a message from one teacher to the social climate that we are living and experiencing.
“My statement to a social media stream of primarily white people covered in “gone mute” statements. As I said in the statement, I may be wrong. But silence feels wrong. I’ve seen signs around the city that say “Silence is Violence”
This week I have been overcome at times with self-loathing, for having had such strong emotions as a white person with privilege. I have felt that my thoughts and feelings were invalid. As many of us go “mute” I think it is important to name feelings, not hide them, to engage in uncomfortable conversations, not go silent.
I am a white teacher to 20 black and brown students. I do not have the privilege of silence, but instead I have the privilege and honor of being a leader to black and brown kids. It has been my role to equip their bright minds with the words they seek in order to lift their powerful voices. I’ve said to them, and I’ll say to you, that the world is made better with them in it. I see them and I stand with them. This week I have led very uncomfortable conversations, I have designed action projects, and I have worked extensively to give black youth a voice. I went to a protest myself and I stood in front of the police.
One of my students designed a super powered hero suit for the protesters. He said he was going to design one for me, his white teacher, to protect me while I protect him. I can tell you on behalf of my students, that they do not want our silence, they want our strength. I am acutely aware that it is not without privilege that I was able to walk into my school building last year, and walk out only an hour later a teacher of black youth. I have worked to earn that role by being the best version of myself, and I know there is so much more work to do. While I don’t want to be center stage and I want to figure out the best way to use my privilege and support my friends and students, I am hearing messages about “muting” myself so that others can speak and blacking out. I do not claim to know the right approach and I want to sit and digest it and hear from everyone’s voices, but each day I am an active and mentoring voice in these hard conversations. And I will continue to be.
My hope is that my students and my friends and family see me as someone open to conversations on race and privilege and that this moment remains a time of activity, struggle and change. I am okay with being imperfect and even wrong at times on these subjects. My students have HUGE dreams for a better world our hearts know is possible, and that will take strength and courage and unity. Please engage in uncomfortable conversations. Do not “go mute”. Please stand tall for unity and for justice.”
Breathe Love Laugh Dance (BLLD)