2020 has turned out to be a year of reckoning for the United States of America. Not only is it a contentious election year, we are also in the midst of a pandemic, AND the entire country is in chaos with protests across many major cities.
My son is about to be two years of age. I often think about the kind of world I’m building for him and the values I want to pass down to him. I wish he was old enough to teach him about social action. I wish he was old enough to teach him activism. Right now, all I can do is demonstrate what it means to treat everyone fairly. All I can do is teach him that the color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter. He was born into a mixed race household, so it’s very likely he’ll face some heartbreaking realities in the near future.
It’s difficult to open up and talk about this, but I’ve seen and experienced a lot of racism. It’s been something difficult for me, and many of the situations I’ve been in I’ve kept to myself. To this day, I haven’t shared many of the stories.
Thankfully, in my high school years I was introduced to two organizations that helped me deal with my experiences in a productive way.
The first organization is called the Mosaic Project. The Mosaic Project has been around since 2000. Their mission is to spread empathy and acceptance through our youth. I was lucky to be part of the first group of Youth Leaders, and I have kept this organization close to my heart ever since. They do a much better job of telling their own story than I can, so below I’ve pasted a video from their site that will give you a deeper understanding of their mission and how they accomplish it. If you’d like to support the Mosaic Project with a donation, follow this link.
The next organization I would like to introduce is called, Sojourn Project, formerly Sojourn to the Past. This organization gives high school students the opportunity to take learning to the next level. This is how they describe the organization:
For almost 20 years and through 90+ study trips to the American Deep South and Washington, D.C., Sojourn Project has been immersing middle and high school students from diverse backgrounds in academic, transformative weeklong moving-classroom Journeys. Along the path and through the lens of the Modern Civil Rights Movement and America’s struggles for liberty. Living history. Learning about sacrifices made and lives taken to achieve the right to vote and equality. Our greatest hope is for young people to recognize that they too can stand up to injustice and do extraordinary things
I took this trip as a high school student, and I feel this trip gave me a deeper understanding the African American civil rights journey. They have also received awards and recognition for their work.
I know there are a lot of organizations that are worth supporting and each has it’s own merit. I’m sharing about these organizations because they may not be as known or have as much of the spotlight as others, but they are just as deserving of our contributions and our support. Their work is invaluable. If after reading this post you are moved, I encourage you to tell your friends, your family, and your social followers about them.
#blacklivesmatter #untileveryoneisequal #racismsucks #fightracism