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.