Educational institutions have a habit of dismissing themselves from students’ circumstances. They claim that it is outside their jurisdiction therefore it is not their concern. This habit contributes to our children becoming left behind. It takes dedicated work to provide students transportation, food, a proper environment, and the hope to learn. Systemic racism and exploitation have poisoned many institutions. Their impacts on education institutions lead to the creation of dysfunction and chaos that negatively impact students’ sense of self-worth. Many students feel undervalued because they are undervalued in the quality and quantity of positive and uplifting educational services and classes they receive.
The purpose of education includes assisting people in the process of self-discovery. One discovers themselves in the community, not alone, isolated, or excluded. A just and equitable education provides the ability for students and teachers to learn together about themselves. Allowing both to understand their relationships to the economic, political, and cultural conditions of this nation. This type of education would lead us to examine our rights and the rights of others, which are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We would learn about global events and events around the nation. This learning goes beyond the absorption of material that becomes fed back to the teacher through a multiple-choice test. Education dedicated to democracy teaches and tests our ability to develop our compassion, ethics, and responsibility to improve the human condition.
During the process of moving from distance learning to face-to-face learning, we must seek ways to make sure that the structure of how we are to teach/learn includes fair and equitable access for all. We must also seek to move our educational content and methods toward an interracial, intercultural, and intergenerational process of liberation.
Finding ways to provide an equitable, democratic in-person education will be a struggle. Our narrative of history must be rewritten. For the most part, the historical narrative presented in public schools was created by the victors, the wealthy, the owners of industries and corporations. Their narrative claims racial, national, cultural, and class superiority.
Schools must become a common experience of sharing the benefits of the strengths of America, as well as a collective sharing of the liabilities of our society. To start a revolution begins with loving who we are. We channel our voices for change because we believe in the beauty of our humanity. It takes courage to actively push against the status quo of uncooperativeness, strategic critical thinking to be effective, and love to keep going.