Activists and community have long been conjoined being that activists are typically speaking up for change within their communities.
Teaching is my favorite form of activism. Mainly because I am able to shape the future leaders of the community. With that said, shout out to every educator on this email list!
Too often teachers are only viewed as those who have summers off. People are quick to dismiss the fact that we are on the front line every day, challenging our youth to think critically and compassionately, helping them navigate their emotions and understanding of the world, all the while molding them to find their voice and become productive members of our communities.
This week students across the country stood up and nonviolently protested for stricter gun laws. I can’t explain how proud that made me. Wherever you stand on gun control laws, it’s hard to deny the tenacity and energy pulsating through the youth of the United States. We are molding future leaders who are eager and able to stand up and exercise their voice.
In Not So Simple I included a poem about a conversation I had with a soon to be senior after school. She was fired up about poverty. I was pleased. She had already taken action to raise $1,000 for the local SPCA, and now she was turning her attention to poverty. I listened and helped guide her on how to move forward. I’ve included the poem below.
This brings me back to community.
I was fortunate to get featured in my local community newspaper, SNJ Today, for my work on Not So Simple. (You can read the article here.) To summarize, I reflected on the role that Cumberland County (South Jersey) had on me. I thought of my family. I thought of my teachers. I thought of the environment that each plays in molding a young adult into a man or woman.
A factor for homelessness is lack of a support network. Whether it’s being born into a broken family, getting lost in the population of a public school, or having no one to lend a hand to help you when you inevitably fall. These are all ingredients for a person who ends up living in deep poverty.
This Tuesday I’m reading at an established Downtown Ventura meeting place (Anacapa Brewing Company) to talk about what we can do to better understand and help our community.
So far we’ve sold over 300 copies of Not So Simple. We have almost $800 to pass off to Project Understanding’s ‘Homeless to Housing’ initiative. If you haven’t had the chance, consider picking up a copy here or here for a family member or friend. We are giving back to the community. We are making a difference for those who need help.
We are activists who refuse to passively sit by as poverty engulfs our cities.
For that I am proud.