By Rev. Susan Brims, East District Missional Strategist and Superintendent
When I read the words, something inside of me just wanted to break free. The words are from All In Education, an organization committed to addressing the inequities in our educational system. This is what I read:
We seek to build an Arizona where ALL communities have access to opportunity and justice.
Where no child is at risk of falling behind, where parents feel valued and supported and most importantly where ALL kids feel loved and honored in their classrooms.
Where every single attribute that students and families carry is viewed as an asset that should be nurtured and developed so they can be our state’s future leaders.
The appointive cabinet has been reading and discussing Ibram Kendi’s book, How to Be An Anti-Racist. The author’s stories about his experience of school and how that affected his own attitude in life are powerful stories.
I believe that teachers are amazing people, who want nothing more than to help their students succeed. The teachers I know have sacrificed everything to work with each child as a precious gift, working hard to identify each child’s strengths and areas of growth. This past 15 months has been especially difficult on teachers, and they have stepped up to the challenge.
Even with the fact that teachers are to be commended for what they do each and every day, we cannot ignore that what Kendi has written about concerning the inequities in our educational system are difficult realities. We all have heard news reports about the challenges families in some areas have had in accessing computer equipment and the internet. We have been confronted with the reality that the areas experiencing the most difficulty tend to be communities of color, communities with lower income. We have seen the news reports and I find myself asking, “what if this were my child?” We can no longer close our eyes to the realities. We must confront the racism and the inequities that we have allowed to create such realities.
Romans 12:5 has these words for us: In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other.
I read the words of the CHALLENGE on All In Education’s website and I began to wonder what would happen if we developed a partnership? How could we, as people who believe the words in Romans 12:5, work together to impact our educational system? How could we develop relationships with parents, teachers, and school administrators in a way that actually brings about transformation?
In my last blog I shared an invitation to discuss how we might create a Neighboring Movement in our ministry areas. Today I want to invite you into a discussion about how we might create a movement that benefits children and families.
If you are interested in learning more about this second transformational movement let me know. I would love to get a group of us together to see what we might be able to accomplish.
The words of Romans 12:5 are true. We are the body of Christ as we belong to each other. God is calling us to make a difference. Will you join me?
Your Sister on the Journey,