We live in a world that likes boxes –
boxy houses, boxy cars,
cardboard boxes and mailboxes
and shoe boxes too
and in those boxes we put our things
and our families and our letters
to our friends across the world.
But we also have imaginary boxes –
boxes where we put people
based on what we’ve learned
from our families
or what we see on TV.
Before we even know someone
we say “If you look like that,
you go in this box!”
Or “If you talk like this,
you go in that box!”
Stereotyping is all the little boxes
in our heads that insist
on fitting people, with all of their
different shapes and sizes and colors
and voices, into a home they didn’t build
Stereotyping keeps us
from getting to know people
for who they are.
Stereotyping makes other people
feel like they aren’t individuals.
So resist the box!
Burn it down!
Why have a box
when we could have a swimming pool
or a trampoline park?
A playground or a giant green field?
We don’t need those silly squares!
We need to let everyone be
exactly who they are
so that we can be too.
And isn’t that so much better
than a boring old box?
“Woke” has a new meaning in the 21st century lexicon. To be woke is to understand that equality and justice for some is not equality and justice for all. The United Church of Christ calls us to be woke in this time, in this place. Therefore, Colonial Church librarians are assembling woke resources for you to learn more about the history and cumulative consequences of inequality and injustice in the United States.