These days I spend a significant amount of time taking in information.
Delivered through the lens of the moment, the news is prepared and served up for me to consume. It sits in my stomach. Heavy. And that sense of needing to do something wrestles with the what can I do emotions.
The events of this weekend filtered through stories I grew up with. The stories of Ellis Island, of garment workers, of Midwestern farmers, of veterans of World Wars, of survivors of depressions and pogroms, of second language learners, of first to go to college public education students. My generation has been the beneficiaries of their hard work, resilience, and perseverance.
When I visited my parents this weekend, CNN is on, the New Yorker, The Economist, and the local papers are piled up next to their reading chairs. Watching the latest breaking news, reflecting on the headlines with them, I feel like my generation, the recipients of so much opportunity, have let them down. They risked their lives for human rights, for my rights. It breaks my heart to have them see what we’ve come to.
For them, for my kids, for my kids’ kids, I protest. It is my obligation. To take action. Any way I can. To pass out leaflets, to call my representatives, and cry occasionally. And to teach. Every. Day.
Educating people to read, to compare different sources, to recognize reliable sources, to find evidence, to ask questions, to put it all together, and to think is what I can do.
Each action lifts us up.
I’ve listed a few resources I’ve found helpful.
Pernille Ripp’s resources to teach the refugee ban.
Kimberley Moran’s resources on human migration.
Teaching Tolerance’s guide for educators of immigrant and refugee children
How to contact your elected officials.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesday. Read more slices here.
13 thoughts on “Slice of Life: What I Can Do”
Very powerful, Julieanne. The line, “I feel like my generation, the recipients of so much opportunity, have let them down” really hit home with me. Thank you for doing your part.
Every. Day. Thanks for always teaching me- your posts are often putting some of my thoughts to better words.
Doing what we can do is important. I cry a little everyday too. Keep showing up. It’s got to matter! Thank you for your heart, my friend!
The heaviness of that statement that we’ve let down our parents. Thanks for the resources. We must hold each other up!
Your line – “I feel like my generation, the recipients of so much opportunity, have let them down.” really hit me. So much has been given to me because of the prior generations and now this is the America I am an adult in?? I too am trying to make sense of it and DO. Thanks for the links.
“For them, for my kids, for my kids’ kids, I protest. It is my obligation. To take action. Any way I can. To pass out leaflets, to call my representatives, and cry occasionally. And to teach. Every. Day.”
Thanks for clearly illuminating a path to go forward. We don’t have to choose the exact same action. But action is necessary. It’s a right. It’s a responsibility. It’s our turn to take action!
Every other day I have a 40 minute “Enrichment” class which is supposed to be about teaching reading skills. I am teaching social justice. Oh, we are learning reading strategies and all the things I’m supposed to do, but just through a particular lens.
For all of us to do something to fight injustice because that’s what our country does cannot be ignored. I don’t know the how sometimes. but persist so I can help. Thanks for sharing your ideas, and the links, Julieanne.
You are so right, each action lifts us up! We need to continue to be active to bring about a change. Excellent post with wonderful resources! Thank you!
Your voice needs to be heard loud and clear by everyone. We all need to take action – even here in Canada. This morning I called my MP – to say our gov’t needs to move to action.
What’s happening in US makes no sense. Unbelievable. It’s not the high academic education but rather the heart and empathy teaching that becomes the most valuable. I believe that change can happen. Peacefully.
This brought tears of joy to my eyes, Julieanne. Thank you for being there, showing up, protesting, making calls, discussing the news, and teaching. As you said, “Each action lifts us up.”
It helps to know that we are holding each other up and working together to find a way to take action each day. Thank you for sharing, Julieanne!