The intersectionality of students can eventually become a force for change for the individuals and the collective, once it is recognized and once actions to counterbalance injustice are created.
Will we duck away from the changes coming, or move forward, powered by those changes, toward something greater than ourselves?
Students won't be empowered and emboldened by a falsely happy face insisting everything is fine. We can give them the courage to advocate, dream, and demand what they deserve.
Many outside PD opportunities still separate the "haves" from the "have-nots" and uphold systemic oppression.
If we want to work towards true inclusivity, we must show that perpetuating oppressive beliefs, intentional or not, has a consequence on something or someone other than those oppressed.
We need to have difficult conversations, and we need to make sure we consider whose voices we center on as we have them.
This ability to all see each other, to all stand together as partners, is what makes a school. After all, what is a school but the people who work and learn there?
So, how do we manage? What do we do when consistently engaging in the difficult discussion about rape culture is hard on our hearts, but helpful for our students?
Serena Williams's reaction and its consequences is an unfortunate reflection of our school systems. Real life is hard. It's maddening. It's even harder and maddening when you're a young person of color growing up in a system built to watch you fail.
Kids have a natural and innate sense of justice. They will show us where to go with these conversations.