Hedreich Nichols

If I Had A Hammer

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Small Bites Friday Five 3-19-21 

20-30m – Read this Bostonia article by Catherine Caldwell-Harris (@CathCHarris) on cross cultural psychology and respecting “the other side”. Dive into some of the hyperlinks, but more importantly, reflect on how you can make every disagreement as a chance to learn.

15-20m – Read this Best Life article from @SarahGCrow and write down at least 2 people or groups for each strategy you are going to implement. Yes, the people can be public people you have no valid reason for hating since you don’t know them.

10-15m – Compare and contrast this Chris Bodenner article on religion and AIDS in the 80s and these horrendous comments in the wake of the Orlando Club Pulse shooting with the subtle (and not so subtle) victim shaming of the 8 people gunned down in Atlanta spas. Think about your own reactions and how they too could be filled with more judgment than compassion. Then course correct.

5-10m – Review the media coverage on the Atlanta shooting from Fox, AP, OANN, CNN, and your local news outlet. Skim the articles or watch video and look for language that conveys bias. Need help? Here are questions from @fairmediawatch to challenge yourself.

0-5m – Read some of the comments to the above articles you found. Are we where you thought we were as a country? What things did you read that were surprising? What can you do in your corner of the world to help reduce the lack of humanity seen in some of those feeds?

I have been planning this episode for a few weeks. Big announcements, exciting changes. Talking about Spring Cue and my mic drop session following this episode. But all I can think about is the senseless loss of lives this week, the violence against the Asian community and how the response to yet another murder shadowed by racial motivations reflects the lack of regard for people who are a part non-white communities. It reminds me of what Fannie Lou Hamer said, that nobody is free until we are all free.

The fact is, our country has not provided equitable advantages for all communities and whether you want to call it racism, white supremacy, systemic inequity against BIPOC communities or something else, we have a problem. There are systems that are interwoven in the way we govern, educate, provide healthcare, accumulate wealth and even in the ways we love and hate. Those systems advantage some and disadvantage others. If ‘liberty and justice for all’ means all, if you are a patriot who believes in those words, then we need to recognize that we still have work to do, especially to make up for not giving people from non-white communities a level playing field for so long.

Today, I celebrate my 40th episode of SmallBites, I celebrate lives touched, minds changed, resolves strengthened. I celebrate the DMs and emails and even care packages I have gotten to say thank you, keep going. And as I celebrate the accomplishment, I stand, resolute to continue helping as many people as I can. Leave a review on Apple. Share an episode with your staff. Click a resource link, even through the exhaustion of teaching in a pandemic. Teach civil disagreement in your classrooms and on your campuses.

You are in the unique position to influence the next generation and that means you have the power to create change. You can ignore social issues because parents don’t understand the connection or you can talk about how social justice and SEL are inextricably linked and how they belong in every content on every grade level. You can educate your parents AND teach your students to be responsible citizens. I know I will. Because if ever one of my students is a victim of violence, if ever one of my students commits a hate crime, I want to know that I did my very best to teach them about social justice, about community beyond color and gender, about humanity over hate.

I do have a hammer and here’s to the next 40 episodes of #SmallBites.