“What we are ethically called to do is create a safe space in our schools and classrooms where all students can walk in and, for that day or hour, take off the crushing weight of their armor, hang it on a rack, and open their heart to truly be seen.”
Days or months dedicated to exploring and celebrating a particular diversity or heritage can impart valuable awareness and information about a group of individuals, their history, and their experiences, but it can also make those who happen to be in the often marginalized group feel on the spot or centered out depending upon the approach. It may also be viewed as checking off a box rather than authentically valuing the many stories and experiences, differences, hardships and adversities different groups have experienced.
So, how about diversity as a conversation all year long…
There are many topics as we learn about histories of damage that bring up strong emotions for students especially if they have heritage in a group that was marginalized.
Sensitivity is key.
It is also important to keep in mind that some students might be descendants of groups that were instrumental in the damage. Shaming these students for past wrongs of their ancestors will not serve to bridge relationships between groups or foster community.
“The number one feeling contributing
to disconnection is shame,
the most toxic of human emotions.”
– Brene Brown