A quick roundup of some of March coverage….if you see or hear more, let us know!
A quick roundup of some of March coverage….if you see or hear more, let us know!
Thirteen year old Maya shared this letter with us about her experiences of discrimination at school and how she “lucked out in the Mom department.”
There is no better way to ‘walk the talk’ of equity, tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity than by asking our staff to join the Women’s March. It is far too easy to offer platitudes about our children being our future than it is to stand up for the type of world we want them to inherit.Our schools and programs remain committed to supporting students with diverse learning styles and varied family backgrounds and configurations.
We march to affirm their dignity and value in our local and global communities.Our teachers and counselors educate children about the harmful effects of the ‘isms: racism, sexism, classism and all the ways they divide us. We walk in support of the values we hold dear at Schools for Children. We walk out of concern over the shrill voices and destructive behaviors that threaten to diminish us as individuals and to divide us as a people.We walk to take a stand against bullies.
Whether on school playgrounds or in positions of leadership, there is no place for threatening language, demeaning comments or intimidation of those who may be weaker or less privileged. We march because there must be room in our society for each of us to play meaningful roles in crafting a future of peace, hope and mutual support. We walk to stand up for our children and their futures.
Theodore H. Wilson III, Ph.D. is President, Schools for Children, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit organization creating and managing great schools and educational services, including early childhood and elementary schools, afterschool programs, and special education schools and services to help keep students from falling through the cracks in our educational system. Schools for Children also develops new education services and innovations, and consults with other schools, districts and human service providers to enhance the quality and performance of their services.
The day after the election, I sobbed and dabbed my eyes and kept a lump in my throat inside during my candidate’s concession speech in front of a lot of people at work. Three days later, away from everyone, in the shower, I cried so hard and so loud with so many tears that it felt like someone I loved had died, taking all hope for a certain future me with them. In that moment, I felt a slipping, a losing of grip, like everything was gone, and that nothing could be trusted anymore or taken at face value.
Did that old white man driving past yell at me and give me the finger in an ordinary act of road rage or because he suddenly noticed the color of skin? In the many days since the election, I have felt utter helplessness and powerlessness as I hear more of what the President-elect has to say, and what some of his appointees believe in. I have found myself shaking my head, thinking, “There’s nothing I can do about this.”
So I march to find a community early in this new administration that can help me find a voice, and I march to overcome the inertia that comes from watching people with great, unreachable amounts of power say things that scare me. I march now because I am afraid that otherwise I will default to a private and ineffective cry and into a state of paralysis in the face of the next four years.
Charu helps organize the South Asian Coalition for the Boston Women’s March. She is a former journalist and advocate and now is a content strategy and marketing director at InCrowd, Inc., a healthcare IT startup.
March Guru loves the hurly burly of collective action. It’s so much fun to be part of one big voice and one big movement. But if one is marching with children, it can get a little hairy. Not all children dig a March, after all. The noise and the passion can be intense. On the other hand, it can be pretty exciting and transformative.
Here are some tips for marching with kids that we uncovered for you. If you choose to bring children, that’s great. And if you don’t, that’s okay too.
March Guru loves a good protest sign. The best are hand done. Duct-taped to a wooden yardstick. And in relatively good taste. Powerful statements of passion and purpose. (More on that later.)
But we all know that it is the smart and the funny that get noticed and that we, as marchers and activists, enjoy seeing. They give spirit and energy to the hard work of unifying. They give us a much-needed chuckle.
Here are 21 ideas to help spark your imaginations. We know you’ll come up with even better! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got.
Maura Healey was elected Massachusetts Attorney General on November 4, 2014. Today, she leads the people’s law firm as the people’s lawyer, continuing a career spent fighting for justice and equal rights.
Healey’s historic victory in her first-ever run for office was driven by a strong grassroots campaign where she bested well-financed establishment candidates in both the Democratic primary and the general election. Being sworn in at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, Healey vowed to lead an office guided by her core values and driven by the issues that matter to the people of the Commonwealth – from regulating health care and energy costs to protecting consumers, ensuring equality for all and keeping our communities safer.
“As the people’s lawyer, the Attorney General is here to take on those tough challenges,” she said. “Fighting for opportunity across Massachusetts. Securing its promise for every resident. That is my commitment to you.”
Maura Healey began career by serving as a prosecutor in Middlesex County and a litigation partner at WilmerHale, one of Boston’s most prestigious law firms before joining the Attorney General’s office as Chief of the Civil Rights Division. For seven years prior to her election, she oversaw more than half of the office’s 500 employees. She directed two of the office’s most prominent divisions: the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and the Business & Labor Bureau.
Attorney General Healey is the oldest of five children and grew up in the small coastal community of Hampton Falls, N.H., just over the Massachusetts border. Her mother was a school nurse, her father a captain in the Navy and an engineer, and her stepfather taught history and coached high school sports. After graduating from high school, Maura left her small town to attend Harvard College, where she majored in government and was the captain of the basketball team. After two years as a starting point guard for a professional basketball team in Austria, she returned to Massachusetts to attend law school at Northeastern University.
Maura Healey lives in Charlestown with her partner. She is the first openly gay Attorney General in the United States.
Martin J. Walsh, a lifelong champion of working people and a proud product of the City of Boston, was sworn in as the City’s 54th mayor on January 6, 2014. He has inspired voters to imagine a Boston with equality and opportunity for all, where a revolutionary history sparks creative solutions for 21st century challenges.
Since his election, Mayor Walsh has strengthened Boston’s schools, adding hundreds of high-quality pre-kindergarten seats and securing tuition-free community college for Boston Public Schools graduates. He has also led Boston to the forefront of the global innovation economy, by attracting industry-leading employers and using connective technology to transform government services.
At the same time, Mayor Walsh has created powerful tools for low-income workers, including a “learn and earn” job apprenticeship program and an Office of Financial Empowerment. He is an outspoken contributor to the national dialogue on income inequality and has addressed the tremendous need for housing in Boston with an ambitious plan, setting records for new affordable and middle-class homes.
The Walsh Administration has been hailed by the White House for expanding young people’s opportunities and breaking new ground in crime prevention and police-community relations. It has also been lauded for establishing the nation’s first municipal Office of Recovery Services to prevent and treat substance abuse.
Finally, the Mayor has invited Boston residents to help build a blueprint for the City’s future with Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in half a century.
Before taking office, Mayor Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he defended Massachusetts’ pioneering stand on marriage equality. Mayor Walsh also made his mark as a labor leader, running the Building and Construction Trades Council from 2011 to 2013. His signature creation, a program called Building Pathways, is now a model for increasing diversity in the workplace and providing good career opportunities for women and people of color.
Born and raised in Dorchester by immigrant parents, Mayor Walsh is driven to ensure that Boston remains a City where anyone can overcome their challenges and fulfill their dreams. As a child, Mayor Walsh survived a battle with Burkett’s lymphoma, thanks to the extraordinary care he received at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. His recovery from alcoholism as a young adult led to his lifelong commitment to the prevention and treatment of addiction. He returned to school to earn a degree in Political Science at Boston College while working as a full-time legislator.
Mayor Walsh continues to reside in Dorchester with his longtime partner, Lorrie Higgins.
Kindalay Cummings-Akers is a Personal Care Attendant with more than 30 years of healthcare experience, a lifelong resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, and a mother to four children. To hear Kindalay describe her journey and work is to witness lived compassion. “My oldest child is disabled,” she explains. “This is one of the reasons why I became a PCA. So that I can help those who cannot help themselves.”
Since joining the 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East union in 2006, Kindalay has been an active canvasser for the union and political initiaitves throughout the Springfield area. She played a key role in launching the SEIU Community Action (SCA), a local organization devoted to familiarizing Springfield residents with ongoing union actions. In addition, Kindalay has served as a contract bargaining team member in numerous fights for paid sick time, overtime, and pay raises for PCAs and similar low wage workers.
Kindalay’s service and insights have been recognized far beyond the Springfield limits. She is a recipient of the Paul Kahn award for PCA Service and participated in a round table discussion with Hillary Clinton about the fight for a $15 minimum wage, women’s rights, Social Security, and health insurance.
“I love what I do,” Kindalay says. “We the people need and deserve to live a better life and to take care of our families. As a parent I have to show my children that you have to lift your voice and speak up for your rights and fight for what you want.”