Last week’s visit by Jonathan Kozol was a chance of a lifetime to meet, in person, someone who I deeply admire. I missed most of the Q&A due to other commitments. The meeting in the Happenings Room was filled over capacity with all of us waiting for his words of wisdom. It is incredible that he continues to present at lectures with such gusto. He reminded me that my work is not complete and that I have far to go even at my age. He is inspiring. It was refreshing, and saddening, to hear him speak of America’s school system equated with the apartheid system that still exists in South Africa. I have spoken of this often in my classes only to be looked upon as though I am speaking a language only spoken on Neptune. He reminded, and made some aware that our schools are more racially segregated today than they were post Brown v Board of Education. Having lived during that era, I can see the stark difference in my education and what is being called education today. Social justice and equity is what we all – teachers, social workers, scientists, musicians, etc. must strive for in our everyday lives, and going forward into our careers. There is no reason that at this time, in this millennium, in this country, one of the richest and most powerful in the world, that we have gone so backwards in thought and deed. Finally, I have said these words over and again, racism is the cancer that will kill all that has been achieved if we do not heal. Healing can occur in our everyday lives by recognition of aggressions large or small and then doing something about it. Jonathan Kozol reminded us that we all have the power to change the trajectory.

About DEBRA MCGEE

Social Work candidate for BSW in 2015.

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