Women’s March in DC
2017 has been a whirlwind so far, with finishing my first year of grad school and my first year as a lead teacher. Now currently teaching full time and in my second year of grad school. On top of that I am working online towards a certificate for early childhood to be an official lead teacher in the eyes of NY state. I am also going through some personal life changes and taking every day one at a time.
And! Not to mention the awful disgustingness that is our president, I mean, #notmypresident. I am horrified by the state our country is in. I am scared for our planet and for the communities who have been struck by all the natural disasters occurring. I know its not long before everyone is effected by them, mother nature doesn’t care how much money you have. Everyday something new is taken or is trying to be taken from the people that our most oppressed in our country, people of color, LGBTQ community , women, the poor, and people with disabilities. It is a time for everyone to wake up and do something, take a stand, give money, or time. White people especially need to take a stand for the injustices that happen to people of color everyday. I am growing and learning myself on what I can do to fight back.
I am grateful to work at a progressive arts based preschool in Brooklyn. At my school we do not shy away from what is happening in our country. The election affected many of our families and we wanted to provide a safe space for conversations to occur. Many kids participated in the protests after the election. Myself and other coworkers joined one of the families at our school on a bus to the Women’s March in DC. We read books with powerful messages of strength and courage with people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. The day after the election a parent came in and read a book to the kids about Fannie Lou Hamer, a voting rights activist and civil rights leader.
I am also extremely lucky to be involved in a grad program exploring these topics. A program focused on connecting to our humanity through theatre and art. The Applied Theatre program at CUNY has opened my eyes to many things I did not know or maybe didn’t want to know about our world.
Through reading amazing books like Paulo Freire’s, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, to Beverly Daniel Tatum’s, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race, I have explored and learned a lot. I am learning how to have critical discussions with my classmates and anyone about topics that in the past I would have shied away from.
Applied Theatre is what this world needs right now. It is another outlet to bridge these large gaps in our communities and to provide ways to cope and understand ourselves in this world. I was lucky enough to be apart of one of the days of the Racial Reconciliation workshop provided by the program and led by, Dr. Herukhuti, a playwright, poet, essayist, spiritual teacher, sexual healer, scholar, activist, social entrepreneur.
Dr. Herukhuti website: https://sacredsexualities.org/
It was a workshop I believe every person in this world needs to do. In the workshop I mapped out my history with race, when I discovered it, and my relationship to it. Being white, I never had to think about it because being white in this country gets you everywhere. I am privileged because of the color of my skin. Where I grew up I was always mirrored back to myself. I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a family that loved humanity. I was taught and shown to treat others with respect, how you would like to be treated, regardless of a person’s race, color, background, or sexuality. I was told and shown through my parents that everyone deserved equal rights in this country/world.
I will forever strive to be a fighter of oppression. I may not be perfect or fully understand what that means yet, but through this program and my own research I hope I can be of service and not be part of the problem.