Today, twenty-four lively, high school leaders are boarding a flight for their first summer trip together. In addition to the requisite pillows and playlists, these youth will also be unpacking tough questions about race and equity in the US during this trip.
“ We need to be weapons of mass construction, weapons of mass love. It’s not enough to change the system, we need to change ourselves.” - Assata Shakur
In February, we launched the #BeLove series to profile organizations committed to ending structural racism and bias. We were invited to share this series at Sanctuary, a multimedia installation at the San Damiano Mission in Brooklyn, NY.
“I had no idea that White people cared about me.” It only took a 2-hour conversation for a twenty-six year-old Black woman to share this tearful realization. That this particular 2-hour conversation happened in St. Louis during the unrest following the Ferguson riots, was even more telling for the region.
When a substitute teacher worked with City Garden Montessori’s upper elementary classrooms, the students taught her what love looked like in their school. The substitute teacher was taking attendance and noticed a student of Asian descent standing near her. She looked at her list and said “Stephanie Hshieh, that must be you because you’re Asian.”