Letting Others Do the Talking
We’ll get this one out of the way first, so we can get to the brilliance that we have gleaned from those who came before us, but one of our primary values is a commitment to using the platform that we are privileged to have (as white & able-bodied humans) to draw attention to the folks who are doing this work in their own communities, and wrestle with the intersections (more on that in a bit) of privilege and oppression while creating resources and thoughtful content that are made available to a wide audience!
Drawing on the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, the black feminist legal scholar and educator who first introduced the term intersectionality into her critical race theory work in 1989, we seek to affirm the many identities that make up each human life. Merriam Webster clearly and concisely defines intersectionality as “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.”
Not Just Tolerance, Acceptance or Awareness
“Tolerance” and “acceptance” are minimal and neutral-it doesn’t take any extra effort for someone to tolerate another person or accept their humanity. The concept of tolerance being enough must be eradicated, as marginalized and oppressed people don’t just deserve to be respected, affirmed and empowered, they have the right to it as human beings. Anything less than that is a cop out, full stop. “Awareness” is yet another example of unwillingness to fight the status quo. As citizens of our global community, we should already be aware of the various oppressive structures that hold people down and disenfranchise them. The important step is to begin the journey of actively dismantling these structures and that is why we are here, working with the open hearts and minds of children-our planet’s future leaders!
We are inspired to meet so many people from various experiences who hold multiple identities. As educators we know that learning can come from anywhere, anyone, and when you might least expect it! Everyone has something that they can teach others, and we welcome thoughtful and compassionate interaction with all others who are on this journey towards liberation!
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail“
As people who benefit from privilege, we cannot sit idly by and observe the injustice in our local communities and larger global stage and by doing so, force marginalized people to do the work on their own. We keep our ears to the ground and follow grassroots artists, authors, organizers and theorists, so the onus is on us to do the research and spread the message in the spaces we inhabit, both IRL and online!
- To find the best books!
- To spread knowledge and understanding
- To make education transformative, not transactional
- “Windows and Mirrors” Approach
Emily Style’s 1988 contribution to Listening for All Voices introduces the concept of Windows and Mirrors:
“All students deserve a curriculum which mirrors their own experience back to them, upon occasion — thus validating it in the public world of the school. But curriculum must also insist upon the fresh air of windows into the experience of others — who also need and deserve the public validation of the school curriculum.”
-Emily Styles, Curriculum As Window and Mirror