At EXPLO, we have always sought to be a place where we celebrate individual differences and seek the common ground that makes us a community. In many ways, that’s also been the narrative that we have told ourselves is at the heart of America. The protests now happening all over the world are a sign that this well-established American tale is being roundly rejected. Many of us are simply beginning to understand what Black America has always known: this tale is fiction.
We all develop stories about ourselves with varying levels of honesty and understanding. It’s not unlike family lore that gets passed down through generations. The family embraces the myth — they like that version of themselves — but they never probe too deeply into the tent poles of the story because taking away one or two might mean they aren’t really who they think they are.
It’s time for us all to examine our stories and the tales we tell ourselves. We’re doing that now at EXPLO, individually and collectively. We are examining and reflecting on our place of privilege, as well as what we can do with our access to power and our ability to influence as a capacity-building organization. The work is, and will be, hard and messy, but deep learning and change always comes from a place of discomfort.
Transformation is best accomplished as part of a “network of mutuality” and we ask you to join us. We ask that you join us in reflection and examination about the truth of the stories you tell yourself about yourself, but also about your place of work, whether that is a school, a business, or an organization.
We ask that you join us in supporting Black-led organizations that are on the forefront of disabling racist systems.
We also ask that you join us in actively committing to deepening your understanding of Black history, institutional racism, and what is needed to dismantle oppressive systems. Education has always had the power to transform and we are a country in need of transformation. Here are links to just a few resources that we have found helpful in recent weeks:
Moira Kelly, EXPLO President