Creating conversational communities that drive change

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We Are the Dreamers Committed to Building the World We Want

Jondou Chase Chen

This is why SEED is SEED, and I love being a part of our lead team.

On a recent co-director call, I was bemoaning the challenge of SEED work in our current socio-political climate. Should our focus be to create spaces for targeted and marginalized peoples to be whole? Or should we seek to build bridges between identities, communities, and positions of power? After passing that question back and forth several times, Gail offered, “We are the dreamers committed to building the world we want.” She continued, “Our intention is not to exclude anyone. All are welcome. And we’re here for our future, and if anyone has a problem with that, that’s on them.”

We are the dreamers committed to building the world we want. -- Gail Cruise-Roberson, SEED co-director

Gail’s line recalls for me a set of questions from long-time SEED staff member Willa Cofield, who once said, "Do we help students understand the world that they live in?  Do we encourage them to accept the world that is or do we help them envision or work for a world that can be?" An educator and activist, Willa’s questions continue to remind our SEED staff and participants what it is that we are seeking. That as much as we seek to address systemic inequities and social injustices, we do this for the sake of building the world that we seek. A world where justice is defined as much by creative possibility as it is by reparation and restoration.

Do we help students understand the world that they live in?  Do we encourage them to accept the world that is or do we help them envision or work for a world that can be? -- Willa Cofield, SEED staff member

This is where we begin, then. We have created conversational circles and communities for the past thirty-two years, with over 2000 SEED seminars to date, prioritizing ongoing conversations that affirm people being able to be their whole selves and in just relationship with one another. Our work requires us coming together at present to explore our pasts in order to shape our futures. Our project views diversity as a collective strength that can only be realized when we appreciate that each of us, and each of our communities and identities, has unique ways of attaining the justice that we need.

In 2018, we will continue to pursue this vision by addressing the injustices that so many of us, our communities, and our institutions face. We see education as necessarily political because it always has been, and we will continue to dream and build as part of our liberation.

What, So What, Now What?
Equity and Inclusion in Out-of-School Time
 

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019
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