We are watching a revolution taking place right now, a very overdue revolution. I have experienced police abuse of power firsthand. The issues which came to a tipping point after the tragic death of George Floyd are not new, and they are not isolated. They are the result of hundreds of years of oppression, and we need to confront this now.
I would love to move forward with more summer classes, but now is not the time. It IS time to hear more Black voices, read more Black authors, challenge yourselves, and take care of yourselves. The 2020-21 class schedule will be posted soon, but only after we have some time to come to terms with racism as a nation, and to take the first steps in moving forward.
I send lots of love and support to my families, past, present, and future. I am so proud of the young people I know who are going out to protest, or, if they can’t protest in person, are advocating online. I’m proud of other students willing to have difficult conversations with their peers.
One of my current students designed the image I posted here, and continues to use her artistic gifts to reach out in order to provide clarity and nurturing for her Black community and her non-Black friends. A former student just covered a meaningful Minneapolis-based story for al Jazeera. Another former student was arrested after peacefully protesting a few nights ago, and witnessed horrific treatment by the NYPD.
We can only learn by opening our minds, and standing up to injustice.
My classes are known for open dialogue, protection of free speech, and tackling often uncomfortable topics. Sometimes this results in hearing opinions and views that other students may find running against their beliefs and convictions. Racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic behavior does not fall within these parameters, and it will not be tolerated in my classes. If your student plans to use a class to showcase these ideologies, they will not be allowed to continue. Period. ALL of us need to learn, so open mindedness and respect is first and foremost.
Wishing the best to all of us, and the repair of our country,