Happy Summer, or… Happy “Summer.” If you are like my friends and me, we are a combination of exhausted from remote learning, deeply troubled by the ongoing social injustice in our country, excited for the potential of returning to campus this fall, but also burdened knowing that nothing will ever be normal again. In spite of this emotional mashup, I hope that we can encourage each other toward meaningful work in our homes, schools, churches, and communities.
Rather than offer you the expected book list for vacation reading, I instead share some thoughts for you to consider:
- Be not afraid: I could quote loads of Scripture in support, but David French’s article “God Save America from Fearful Christians” might be just the kick many of us need to confess our fears and jump into the fray. As Pastor Tony Evans recently said about racial injustice, “Unless kingdom-minded Christians significantly enter the fray and assume the leadership for resolving the race crisis, we will be hopelessly deadlocked in a sea of relativity regarding this issue, resulting in restating more questions rather than providing permanent answers.”
- Make a Commitment: Over the past month a group of friends that started the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance put together a number of resources and webinars to help guide us through this time. They have also written an Open Letter for Christian school educators to consider signing as a commitment for change. If you are interested in learning more, check out Mike Chen’s blog: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in America.
- Don’t return to the old normal: Through remote learning and the current social issues, we see how much work there is to reform. It does us no good to hold onto practices, behaviors, and beliefs that we now see were flawed or completely inadequate for bringing deep transformation in learning and in communities. It may be tempting to fall back into old patterns of normalcy, but that would be a waste of our current experience. I suggest that you take on the mantra of my fellow cancer warriors, who consistently prompt each other by asking, “What’s your NEW normal?”
- Get connected and get to work: Professionally, I’ve never taken a summer off as I was developing curriculum, building programs, working with students, or growing my own skillset. In the past few years, I have definitely realized my own need to take a break and enjoy life in new ways; however, I don’t think anyone can take more than short respites this summer. The work is too massive, it is too meaningful, and there is too much at stake. We have a ripe opportunity to change our world, profession, schools, and classrooms. We’ll continue to add resources and content to Twitter (@CACEcenter) and on the website (cace.org) for those who want to jump into the fray with us.
Senior CACE Fellow