Dear DI Family,

I planned to write a column this week about my ongoing struggles to learn how to swim. Like most of my columns, it was going to be a funny story about my personal experiences linked to the DI experience. I am unable to do that today.

Like many of you, I am deeply upset by the actions – and inactions – that led to the death of George Floyd. But unlike most of you, as an African-American, this hits me in a much more personal way.

I believe that most of you are upset and saddened by the events of the past 72 hours. I can’t begin to speak, however, to the level of anger, frustration, fear, and sheer exhaustion I feel along with other Black Americans. I want to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd and others who have unjustly died at the hands of law enforcement officers. I know what it feels like to experience racism regularly, having to fight it throughout my life and to experience genuine fear when my children walk out the door.

So what do we do? That’s right. I said WE. There are no easy answers to this question. I believe we need time to grieve, and to feel, and to listen to one another.

I also believe that we can use the power of education to make a difference in the world. Covid-19 has put parents in the position of teaching their children. As opposed to being a burden, today’s events provide an opportunity to teach our children our values and expectations as world citizens.

Our kids need our support, now more than ever. Many have seen the video of the events leading up to Mr. Floyd’s death, the death of a Black man in the custody of white police officers. They have watched the reactions to that death play out across the country and perhaps in their own homes. They undoubtedly have questions, concerns, fears and hopes.

I have read many articles about how we should talk to our kids about what is happening in America today. One that particularly resonated with me is from The Good Men Project. It suggests focusing on education, compassion, engagement and resilience—all qualities that are reinforced through participation in Destination Imagination. It doesn’t answer all the questions, but it is a great place to start.

Thanks for reading.

 

Stay Healthy.  Stay Creative.
Michele

 

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