Like many in the past week, I’ve been bombarded by images of torch-wielding hate mongers, portraits of physical violence and intimidation, and the tragic loss of 3 precious lives.
As I learned about the Charlottesville events, I thought about my family’s recent trip to Montpelier and Monticello. My goal this summer was to create a safe space for my pre-teen daughter, Marie, to explore the truth about our nation’s dark past—long discussions about Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and how they managed their enslaved people coupled with our own Virginia family history. I could not have imagined how quickly an already difficult discussion could become exponentially more complicated as the Charlottesville events unfolded.
As we watched the video from witness’ accounts, we cried and tried very hard to make sense of the senseless. The Charlottesville tragedy pulled the scab off a wound we all carry from our shared and complicated American history.
As a nation, we must get ahead of this type of hostility in our classrooms, workplaces and houses of worship by standing up to bigotry, vitriol and bullying in all its forms. We must recognize that students of color, students who embrace diverse religious beliefs, students across the gender and sexual identity spectrum, students of all abilities and immigration statuses—we must all stand up for them.
I shared with Marie that to me, being an #Upstander is to be a powerful, positive force in our work to bring forward justice, equality, fairness and compassion.
If you haven’t taken the Upstander Pledge, now is the time to take it. If you have taken the pledge, now is the time to share it with others.
If you are ready to talk to your children’s teachers or school administrators about how #Day1‘s bullying prevention tools are simple, easy-to-sue and effective methods to ensure your child’s classroom is taking steps to prevent hostility, then download the free toolkit now.
Let your community know that together, we can and WILL end bullying.