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June 23, 2021

Together We Stand

Author: Tajia Hammack

As Pride Month 2021 nears end, I am curious, how do you celebrate diversity with your children? In our community, we celebrated the LGBTQ+ community by hosting a safe and healthy family-friendly picnic at our local park. In creating a time we can just hold space for stories of others’ lives, trials, and tribulations the hope is strength and validation, for the speaker as well as for the listener. Please share your story of becoming yourself and inspire others to embrace their true selves too. My hope is that validating our own stories, validates other’s stories. There is healing in conversation. The shared connection of injustices goes beyond the LGBTQ+ community however, it is injustice just as those who have been discriminated against for the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their heritage. Together we stand to demand justice, but on this day, we just enjoy each other.

I’ve spent the last year reading stories of diversity and inclusion to children in the public schools via Zoom. In the following conversations is where I found hope for our future. The children have taught me much more than I had anticipated. Their innate way of acceptance and the urgency that fills them to create a world rid of injustices and biases is commendable. In many of our moments together, I had to wipe tears from my eyes. Hearing a little one express, “If it’s uncomfortable because you don’t understand, well just ask! We are all the same, it’s just about loving and accepting each other. Everyone just wants to be loved.” (Emma G. 7 years old)

She gets it and her classmates agree with her. The topic launches an impromptu hour-long conversation with the class on equity. We learn the labels which people appreciate. I’d like to share with you a quote from one of my heroes in the equity movement, Ms. Stacey Abrams.

“Names matter; labels matter. We should always pursue the highest title available and fight for the labels that reflect our clout.”

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a symposium where Abrams was the keynote speaker. Her empowering words and incredible work that she is doing to fight racism, inequality, inequity, discrimination are used as a platform of which to jump from. Together we can demand justice. Together we must demand justice. If you aren’t quite sure where to begin, I would like to recommend that you can begin with yourself and start with your child. These tough conversations are dire as we need to see the issues and create change in ourselves as we move forward on this important work. Maybe we can be open to hearing our children voice their truths, concerns, and thoughts of resolution. Maybe even have the ability to act on these resolutions. Maybe even bring a community together to just hold space.

“We will all at some point, encounter hurdles to gaining access and entry, moving up and conquering self-doubt; but on the other side is the capacity to own opportunity and tell our own story.”

What is your story? What is your child’s story? Will you be a leader in this conversation? Let me know below what your talks look like?

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