Don't Stop at the Story

I think this is one of the best videos from StoryCorps to explain why representation is important. If you have been following the democratic debates, you may have noticed that the candidates have been using storytelling as a way to engage, inform, and connect with viewers and potential voters.

One of the main issues that I have with individuals telling stories that are not there own is that action stops at the telling of the story. How powerful would it be if the individuals who experienced the issue at hand was included at the table to make decisions, craft policy, and provide insight?

This short video is so telling about the nuances that are inherent in every issue. This is why representation of race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and ability are important in the work that we all do especially if it's our intention to minimize unintended consequences.

Until next time!

What Does "The Business Case For" Really Mean?

I have an automatic, negative reaction to the phrase “the business case for” + any equity-related issue. This particular reaction recently came up for me as I was reading a business journal for work. As a social researcher, I wanted to know what the business world had to say about equity issues and how to approach them, as that world is highly influential in my subset of academia which is very chatty about equity these days. I should have expected a “business case for” equity mindset to be prevalent throughout the read but hope, as usual, led me to disappointment. Page four featured a letter from the CEO titled, “Diversity: the Business Case and Beyond” and page 28 began an article on how “empowering young women” can be used as a strategy for attracting new clients.

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Yes, You're Allowed to Rest

Equity work is many things. It is fulfilling, powerful, and chock full of potential to change the world around you, be it in small or significant ways. We know the work is difficult, but that’s part of what makes it so important to be involved. Without effort, change won’t happen.

It is important, however, to recognize that equity work can be beyond difficult. It can be exhausting. The work is non-stop; when you live and breathe an equity mindset, you have to apply it to every aspect of your life. Equity work requires self reflection, some of which can be disheartening, even devastating as your realize that people whom you might love very much hold dehumanizing opinions of you or other people you care about. Finally, it’s disruptive, meaning that it often isn’t supported by your workplace. For these reasons, it is no wonder that many of us wind up “burned out.”

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Don't Say Nothing

Silence speaks volumes. Our students are listening.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX WILLIAMSON

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX WILLIAMSON

As you prepare for your well deserved Thanksgiving break, I wanted to share this timeless piece by Jamilah Pitts for you to read and think about during your break. It is written with educators in mind, but I believe that there are real gems that can be gleaned from this article, regardless of your profession. Your silence is still a statement that students, as well as your co-workers, notice and feel. Take this Thanksgiving to not only nourish your body but also your mind.

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Reframing Immigration Community Art Exhibit

On Sunday, October 28, Word Up Community Bookshop in Washington Heights hosted a celebration and reception for the community art exhibit, Reframing Immigration. Reframing Immigration was a project I started in July 2018 when family separation at the border was being covered by every major news station. I wanted to help but I did not know how. All I could think of was sending supplies and money to organizations at the border. I didn’t want giving to be a solitary act. I wanted to build community and solidarity as I was giving. As I thought more about how to serve, I took a moment to think about my residential community. I live in a community that has a large Dominican population. I thought about what stories they carried. What were the things that connected us and divided us? These questions led me to use art as a tool to uncover those answers.

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Thinking About Voices

Voice is so much more than what words you use to communicate. Voice is personal, cultural, and expressive. Voice, once established, can be trained but never abolished. Lean into your voice, recognize the voices of those around you. Allow voices to help you discover communities old and new.

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