Over this past school year, the teachers of the 4s/5s class at our day school have been committed to engaging their students in conversations around identity, diversity, justice, and activism. The children, I am told, are now adamant about taking actionable steps to make their voices heard. At the suggestion of the children, the class has written letters to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and each of the candidates of the 2021 New York City mayoral race with their demands for change.
The children further decided to create a poster to showcase outside of the church building. Last Tuesday morning, they arrived to an exciting surprise as they saw their messages proudly displayed in one of our sidewalk signs. The children decided to sit and watch to see how many people stopped and read their important messages:
• The rules are not fair. Change them!
• Make the rules fair.
• Stop putting oil in the water.
• Make sure plants have water.
• No guns allowed!
• Keep people safe.
• Black Lives Matter.
• Do not put anyone in jail.
• Keep water clean for fish.
Needless to say, they were delighted to see so many adults reading intently, taking pictures, and telling their own children what the sign said.
Few things give me greater hope in this moment than a new generation emerging of thoughtful, caring people with a bent toward love, justice, and the common good.
Our children are watching. They are listening and learning. May we be the kind of example that allows for transformation of those things that need to be changed in order to make our country and world more just for all people.
Grace and peace,