Dear Rehearsal for Life community,

Yesterday, our nation should have been celebrating our democracy and the tradition of the peaceful transition of power. Instead, the events that took place exemplified the effects of divisive leadership and deeply-rooted resistance to change that embraces equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. 

Yet this is not about sides, politics or agendas; it is a reminder that all of us must remain aware of the impact of deep-seated ideological divisions and those who threaten to undermine our nation's values and democracy. Those who have been elected to office have a duty to uphold our Constitution and the rights therein. This is the ultimate reassurance we can offer to one another, most specifically our youth, who have witnessed the power of those voices heard and actions taken during the election.

The youth of this generation have endured a great deal of trauma, upheaval and uncertainty over the past year, amidst the dual pandemics of the coronavirus and racism. Many need space to process these images, actions and experiences. Our children are strong — stronger than we know — yet as adults in their lives, we must assure them that this nation — our nation; their nation — will become a nation for all: that we can and will rise above unrest and divisiveness.

Should you, your family or your community seek space to hold conversations centered on empathy, empowerment and intersectional dialogue, please know that Rehearsal for Life is here. Below are resources to help youth, families and educators discuss yesterday’s events honestly and sensitively, reminding ourselves that time, space and dialogue are some of the greatest gifts we can give to one another. 

In the words of the great, late John Lewis, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” 

May he rest in power as we move towards peace.  

— Elena Velasco 

Should you wish to have further dialogue, you can reach Elena Velasco, Rehearsal for Life’s Executive and Artistic Director, at evelasco@rehearsalforlife.org.

Resources:

From PBS.org: “Three ways to teach the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol”: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/daily-videos/classroom-resource-insurrection-at-the-u-s-capitol

From the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): “Help Your Child Manage Traumatic Events”: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children-and-teens/tips-parents-and-caregivers/help-your-child-manage-traumatic-

From Beyond the Stoplight: “Resources for Teachers on the Days after the Attack on the U.S. Capitol”: https://beyondthestoplight.com/2021/01/06/resources-for-teachers-on-the-days-after-the-attack-on-the-u-s-capitol
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