In the August Trans*Formational Change newsletter, I asked folks to send in their submissions responding to the question(s), "how will higher education (the field, campuses, and individuals within both) respond - or not respond to A Vision for Black Lives? How do YOU want or will show up?" Below you can find the first submission by Dr. Dafina-Lazarus (D-L) Stewart who generously shared zir own reflections. Thank you D-L.
If you've got some thoughts to share and willing to see it posted on this blog, send your submission and a little bit about yourself to email@example.com with the subject line "Moving the Vision Forward". Any type of submission is welcome, poetry, musings, open letters, etc. that are reflective in essence.
I thought about this for a while: What am *I* going to do to move the Agenda for Black Lives forward? I think it's easy to sit in the tiredness I feel. There were days this summer when I wasn't sure it was worth it to get out to bed. Other than passive actions like sending financial support when I can and signing petitions and making phone calls, I think it's important that I keep showing up in my body, as my self, in the classrooms in which I teach and the scholarship that I put out there. By standing in my truth and being fully authentic - something I have no reason *not* to do anymore in my professional life - I can demonstrate 1) that Black lives are already powerful and brilliant and exist across the spectrums of other social identities; 2) that our profession's values call us to higher levels of action; and, 3) that we are capable of engaging in Spade's "trickle-up activism" to effect real, sustainable transformational change in our institutions. I need to not shy away from calling out anti-Blackness in myself, my professional networks, in my students, and even in my personal networks where the consequences are especially scary and often painful.
Dr. Dafina-Lazarus (D-L) Stewart
Black | Queer | Trans* | Crip | Parent | Professor
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society - Jiddu Krishnamurti
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