Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." - Stacia Tauscher

Logo of the New Orleans-based non-profit organization ERACE
Last week, through my internship with ERACE, I had the incredible opportunity to lead and listen as over 40 tenth grade students engaged in discussion about racism. I'm not going to lie, as a twenty-something White girl, I was nervous about trying to incite a conversation about racism with 15 to 18 year-old African American girls and boys. As my co-leader and I led three, one-hour discussions, I was consistently the only White person in the room, with the exception of maybe the students' teacher. I thought to myself (and then later got semi-called out by one student), who am I to be in this high school, leading a discussion on racism? 

Yet, as tough as the first ten minutes of the session went - eyes staring blankly at the front of the room, heads on tables, comments mumbled under breath - the last ten minutes was truly enlightening. True, some students never got into it, which I don't blame them, I don't think I did either in my first discussion. However, those that did really had something to say, which is why I chose today's quote to represent the importance of these students.

Some people look at these children and think they can predict their future. But after talking to those kids, no one will be predicting their future besides them. The message became clear by the end of the day: LISTEN. Listen when they say they haven't been as mischievous as one might believe; Listen when they say they want to go to college; Listen when they say they can prove society wrong and that they will.

To learn more about this experience and other ERACE initiatives to open up the dialogue about racism, Click the Web Site HERE.

*Special Note: These are my views on my personal blog and do not represent the views of the ERACE organization as a whole.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"No [wo]man needs a vacation so much as the person who just had one." - Elbert Hubbard

Amen to that! Today's quote is inspired by the fact that my brain is here:

Gulf Shores Beach | Photo: Rachel DeHayes
In the past few weeks, I have been on vacation, traveling from New Orleans to Orlando to Miami back to Orlando back to New Orleans to Gulf Shores Beach and finally staying put for a bit in New Orleans. Now, my vacation is technically over, but I can't seem to get out of that mindset! I'm back in school and back to work, but my brain is in la-la-land. Maybe it's because the weather is sunny and beautiful, maybe it's because we're entering into this lackadaisical season we call summer, or maybe it's because I'm just plain burnt out. Regardless, it is because of my lack of focus these days that I've been hesitant to write. However, today it hit me that perhaps writing will help get my brain back into the swing of things. So here I am blogosphere! I'm sorry I abandoned you briefly, but we're back.

Thanks for hanging in there friends, and stay tuned for more posts!