“We are tired of playing favorites.” “Equality feels like oppression.”
“Cultural inclusion is reverse discrimination” “Enough is enough!”
This week left me scratching my head. How can an affirmative action meet a negative outcome?
So what Is Affirmative Action?
In a higher education context, affirmative action – which stemmed from the civil rights movement in the 1960s – is the practice of considering student background characteristics such as race as a factor in deciding whether to admit an applicant. It is a policy aimed at increasing workplace and educational opportunities for people who are underrepresented in various areas of our society. It focuses on demographics with historically low representation in leadership and professional roles.
(Taken from (US News.com)
So what are we really affirming?
I like to think that as a nation, we can affirm that everyone, regardless of creed or color, can benefit from all the rights and privileges that come with citizenship. I hope we can affirm (that is, say yes to) the importance of repairing past harms knowing that when we do, we create a better future for all. I pray everyday as I suit up to do this work, that I am a credit to other Black people, women, other minorities and every American. I also hope the cultural capital I bring to the table (knowledge hidden in plain sight) has added to the greater American culture and made us all smarter, happier and, yes, richer in the things that truly matter.
So much of what we learn and grow to appreciate about each other has nothing to do with the curriculum or the meeting agenda. School and work may shape us but it's the relationships we build that make us who we are. At the table, we break bread and learn together. We have bold conversations on historic and trending topics, and we are honest when sharing our thoughts and listening to learn. Coming Together Virginia says YES! and affirms that we are better together. The affirmation of transformation is within our reach, if we are simply willing to say yes.
Incidentally, our staff is taking a break from programs this summer. Meanwhile, check these links for great activities to say YES to! https://travellersworldwide.com/things-to-do-in-virginia/
Learn About Virginia's Black History
See you in September,