I have been sitting on my own issues with the recent results of the election, which has caused serious disequilibrium. I have been on pause in order to find the right words to express my emotions about the election. I still have not gotten there and it seems for me everyday I am faced with new emotional challenges. I am continuously wrestling with my own judgement, implicit biases, and feelings.
Over the past several months, many words and actions throughout our country during this election did not align with LUME and our lab school (University City Children's Center) values, particularly around diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have been deeply thinking about LUME and UCCC and feel the need to stay grounded in the values, mission, vision and beliefs.
Since 1970, UCCC has been known for supporting our culturally, racially, religiously, economically, and developmentally diverse community equitably and intentionally. For our children, families, teachers, and our larger community, we strive to live within our intentionally inclusive framework. Recently, many of UCCC's most vulnerable community members have been challenged and desecrated. I am deeply concerned about the future for our most vulnerable population. I am concerned, our children may have lost key supportive voices at the state and federal level...time will tell. I know it is necessary to face the sometimes harsh realities of a situation, and at the same time, remain hopeful and work actively for a positive outcome. We assume goodwill in others, and hope that our most vulnerable population will be supported and we will continue to strive to provide the resources to support and grow the lives of our children and families, so they will have a strong foundation for today and tomorrow.
What can we do?
- We must continually be mindful of our own IMPLICIT BIASES as we go forward on this journey together.
- We must enable our children to be SEEN and HEARD by giving them a VOICE...their voice. Teaching our children to express opinions that may be different from others. Whether it is a preference over a story book, fruits or other differences; to be able to have civil conversations with their peers without being negatively judged while being guided by highly empathetic adults.
- If we want to eradicate hate, violence, and inequity while creating a deeply sense of civility and belonging, we must look within as we work with our youngest children.
- We must hear and listen to our families for what is being said and not said.
- We must observe our children for changes in their behavior. It is not OK for a 3 year-old to say, "If Trump wins he will destroy to world." This is an inappropriate burden for a 3 year-old to own. It gives us an opportunity for host a wonderful conversation with this child about how we will keep him emotionally safe.
LUME and UCCC must stand together as one community to build bridges across divides to protect our children and families against hate, against bigotry, and against violence. We must work together for peace and unity by staying grounded in our values: Trust, Empathy, Compassion, Joy and Love.
We will continue to hose conversations (like the Change the Face of Missouri Series) that hopefully will build a community of Trust, Empathy, Compassion, Joy, and Love as we provide a place to develop deeper relationships.
Post by Steve Zwolak