2017 begins in a tumultuous storm. The swells of lies, disruption and hopelessness bash against hope, truth and peace. It lacks visible leadership. The wind is shifting and we must hold steady and firm in our values to stand in this storm and ensure it passes without us getting lost.
There is no more important time than now to inform and lead our young people inside this storm. They, most of all, need us. They need to see the truth. They need to feel our authentic experiences. They need to learn to trust their selves, and practice trust in others. They need to see the alternative to the mess they are in.
Let us look to the bright spots that can show us opportunity in these dark times. Let us build community with our comrades standing firm in the storm. Let us turn to each other, to our communities and trust our inner voices to hold onto the thread of our core values.
First: our anthem. There is no greater soul in music than our dear sisters Sweet Honey in the Rock- they will chant our march of self-fulfillment. They will call out to our youth, affirming their contributions of being in the world to change the world.
Second: listen. Listen to voice inside you. You must hear the sound of the genuine in you. Listen to the sound of the genuine in others. Celebrate the genuine in community. Build the diverse and authentic voices to be the movement our young people need.
Third: be the change. Do the hard work every day. Take time to build capacity in others. Trust in our young people. Show them the path and invite them to build a new trail, a new way. It is the time for all of us to lead and follow.
We need this New Year to be our guide.
Let us renew our teacher manifesto.
Let us trust that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.