I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard … we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.
// Malala Yousafzai //
Is it fair to win the race when you get a head start?
We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.
Education is key to change. It’s integral to success & moving forward in life.
Now, education doesn’t have to be in the technical, traditional sense of primary school to high school to college, but it does require access to varying degrees of content. Mentorship & guidance of an instructor would be preferred. Quality education. An education that doesn’t keep students in the dark or from the truth, but real-world, applicable & relevant information.
As it stands we have two current dilemmas in education - the lack of access by those who should be granted quality education but aren’t & the education that those of us in white privilege are lacking about black lives.
For the first dilemma, ensuring that we dismantle the systems of oppression that deny marginalized communities, or people, the access to being educated well.
For the second, learning to unlearn the ways in which we’ve come to view & interact with the world as a privileged community. Meaning moving away from ignorance, bigotry & hate through education.
The Goal: Equitable Education
Once we’ve become aware of the issue (through listening), we have to educate ourselves. But we also must work to educate others & push for their right to access education.
The Subject: Our Community
We all learn differently & allowing for that in education is critical. Our systems are failing us. Those who are not granted quality education or even access to education shows up in the disparity of opportunities in life for those people. (Not to mention studies showing that the treatment of marginalized communities with an expectation of their failing shows bias in instructors.)
Education could be the key to minimizing crime, improving our impact on the environment, producing more artistic works, changing the political system & bringing us all closer together as a whole. It also provides those sitting in white privilege the chance to unlearn the distorted lens with which we seem to see the world.
The more we educate, the more barriers we bring down.
The Subject: Our Health
We can’t understand or act on changes in our bodies & health if we don’t first educate ourselves on what may be best. Without being taught which foods fuel our bodies, we can’t make the right nutrition choices & instead eat fast food. When we lack the education of knowing the impact of a sedentary lifestyle or the relationship between heart health & exercise, we don’t get out to move our bodies.
In order to shift anything in our health, we have to be educated on what are the appropriate steps in order to take them towards change.
The Problem: Biased Access & Standard
In our community & resultantly in our health we aren’t all gifted or granted the right access to education. In some communities, the standard of education, pay for teachers, funds for supplies & bias of treatment for students results in missed lessons or lower performing academics.
With the issue of white privilege, we as a community have to:
Work to educate ourselves now on the history & current events of racism
Stand up & push for equal education opportunities for all moving into the future
Acknowledge & trust the stories, opinions & setbacks BIPOC have faced
The Next Step in a Solution: Educate
As we’ve been listening, it’s clear to see that our education systems (along with others - like our media) have failed us. It’s time to create a more equitable solution to educating our students across the country. To raise & create change in generations to come by breaking down barriers.
Time for us all to take initiative in becoming educated & speaking up for those who may not have a voice yet.