With Black History Month fading in the distance, I recognize that I have been silent for over a month now. Just to be clear though, my silence is not a sign of being un-inspired. In fact, I stand firmly on the shoulders of those courageous individuals that have come before me and have found myself truly observing and listening both externally and internally. Furthermore, I have been on a journey of healing my heart. In doing so, the sleeping giant in me (and I hope in all of us) has been awaken and as an American it’s time I stand up and fight back.
I know it will be of no surprise to my regular readers that I’m standing up and fighting back for social justice, yet it might come as surprise that I’m ready to peacefully revolt. It seems more than ever it’s time for the difficult conversations to happen. I know firsthand that these can be painful; however, I assure you that it’s worth the expanded perspective, learning, and growth that will take place. Remember last month, when I asked you: what is YOUR dream? For you? Your family? Your community? The country? The world?
Sadly, I didn’t hear from anyone. Believe me, I didn’t lose any sleep but in many ways, it’s a great example of our compliancy as Americans as well as activists and advocates. In our expanding global and digital world, many of us are still in isolation and if we can’t share our various hopes and dreams, how and when will get to the challenging topics?
Not having a faint idea on how to start my own revolution, I decided to stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin public workers as part of Moveon.org’s Rally to Save the American Dream at San Francisco’s City Hall this past Saturday, February 25th. It was absolutely invigorating to be in a community where you could feel the power of the people! We were hundreds of concerned citizens standing up and fighting back because what is happening in Wisconsin is happening to all Americans, and the cost is our country’s future. Although I’m inclined to analyze this concept of the American Dream—our national ethos in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success, the reality is that power, money, and privilege is rearing its ugly head.
Case in point, yesterday, “President Barack Obama signed into law a stopgap spending bill that ends federal funding for several literacy programs at the U.S. Department of Education, part of a planned government-wide reduction of $4 billion. […] The plan originated in the House, where Republican leaders insisted that cuts be part of the deal to keep the government running for two more weeks. Passage of the legislation buys lawmakers and the White House more time to negotiate on a longer-term budget plan for fiscal 2011” (Robelen, 2010).
The above actions by the individuals who are supposed to be representing the people have now put the future of not just education but also my professional home in jeopardy. I am angry. What the heck (feel free to fill in your own word) were they thinking?!? Yet, knowing the power of the written word, I’m choosing my voice instead of my fist. I’m choosing community instead of isolation. I’m choosing love over hate. So, I ask you: will you join me by standing up and fighting back for everything you believe in?!? The time is NOW!
In the meantime, …
I dream of a world that truly provides freedom & justice for all.
I dream of true equity for women where we are no longer exploited for pleasure, power, or profit.
I dream of love being the driving force in education instead of testing.
I dream of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for all regardless of social identity.
I dream of the day the definition of “family” is redefined to be more inclusive.
On a happier note, we have March Madness to look forward to in the weeks to come!
Women’s History Facts
- Wilma Glodean Rudolph (1940-1994) overcame physical disabilities to become one of the most celebrated athletes of all time. Rudolph participated in her first Olympics at the age of 16. Four years later in Rome, she was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field.
- Wild Woman Barbara Jo Rubin made history on February 22, 1969, as the first female jockey to win a horse race.
- The Girl Scouts was founded on March 12, 1912.
- December 26, 1974, is the banner day that Little League baseball was opened to girls!
- On April 26, 1877, 16 year-old Sybil Ludington rode 40 miles from New York to Connecticut as the British were burning Danbury, Connecticut. She earned her nickname, “the female Paul Revere.”
- International Women’s Day—celebrate! The first International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, 1945.
Robelen, E. (2010). Federal literacy aid slashed as part of budget deal. Education Week [online]. Retrieved on March 2, 2011 from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2011/03/house-approved_spending_bill_a.html.
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