Kat Callard

“SEED is claiming the complexity of our lived experience.” In 2006 I had just recently started my teaching career and I was eager to think about how my lived experience shaped the teacher I was becoming. In my first year, I participated in a SEED group that was offered by my school, and the experience opened me up to buried stories that were begging for some light.

The summer before I started SEED I rode my bike from San Francisco to DC with a group called Bike Aid, an organization that supports LGBTQ youth and raises awareness of LGBTQ experiences in pockets of our country. That summer I saw what happens when you present yourself as eager to listen and exchange stories. I discovered the change that could come about when I traveled across boundaries just to sit at someone else’s kitchen table. After that I was looking for more ways to foster humility and connection through stories.

SEED has impacted the way in which I engage within communities. In 2014, I traveled back to San Francisco for New Leaders Week. The shared experiences motivated me to continue taking bold steps to address common issues within independent schools in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

SEED has changed the way that I, as a second grade teacher, establish community in my classroom. I am more interested in offering experiences and questions that will allow students to feel more ownership over the community they belong to and be tellers of their own stories. Ultimately I want them to trust that their stories not only matter but that they also shape our community experience.

And finally, SEED has impacted me as human being and a parent. I facilitated my first SEED seminar during the nine months I was growing two human beings in my belly, and I feel that the more work I do on uncovering my biases and educating myself, the greater chance I have of raising children committed to a more just world. I want to be able to tell them a clearer story of their family history than I was given.

I come to SEED because I have benefitted from the ripple effects of meaningful change. I am in awe of the impact that one story exchange can have on one human being, on a classroom, on a family, on a school, and on a world. I am honored to be a part of the open and closing of these overlapping circles.

— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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