Making a difference in my community is something I’ve always felt strongly about.
And, I mean really making a difference. Not like, giving-birth-to-beautiful-creatures-and-smiling-at-the-mailman make a difference (although, yeah, I do that stuff too).
The kind of make-a-difference type thing I’d blog about one day tell my kids about and forever be proud of myself for being a part of.
When I joined Americorp with Teach for America in 2000, just days after graduating from college, I knew that what I was doing was gonna be one of those things.
The learning that went on in my classroom was vast.
While I shoved the cession of the southern states and subject-verb agreement on my students (I taught 8th grade language arts and history blocks), they unintentionally schooled me on epic stuff like life and love and dedication and honesty. They pushed me to mature, to be stronger than I ever thought I could, to be a leader, a fighter, empathetic, and brave.
I’d like to think I gave them some things they could use for the rest of their lives as well, but the things I learned in that lonely Oakland portable molded me into the woman, the mother, the human I am today.
Added bonus: I honed all of my super hero powers in that classroom (yep, I have eyes in the back of my head and read minds in my spare time), making me not only a good teacher, but an awesome mommy too. Seriously, ask The Dudes, I can SEE THROUGH WALLS PEOPLE.
When I heard the story behind The Kinsey Collection, the thing I most identified with was their desire to empower their community through education. The works in the collection help tell the untold story of African American achievement in the arts and humanities.
It’s a rich story that proves that greatness comes in many colors, in all shapes and sizes, and from every walk of life.
I am sharing The Kinsey Collection with my own children to empower them; to help them understand that there is more to their history than slavery and segregation and racism and ugliness. That some of what their ancestors have contributed is about beauty and talent and joy and love and has nothing to do with things that divide nations and people and families and lives.
I also want them to appreciate that our personal familial history is varied (molded by the historical experiences of both African Americans and Mexican Americans in the U.S.) and filled with success and failures, discoveries and secrets, joy and pain.
Just like those in The Kinsey Collection.
I will be sharing my video about our personal family history soon as part of Untold Stories: Our Inspired History, but in the meantime, please enjoy Lauren London as she shares The Kinsey Collection in Tenacity of Hope
This post is sponsored by Wells Fargo. As always, thank you for reading our blog and supporting our sponsors.