Dear AmazeWorks community,
We hoped for our February newsletter to center celebration and hope as we shared our 2022 Annual Report, highlighting the impact of our work thanks to our incredible community of support. This simply doesn’t feel right in light of the grief and trauma that have already overwhelmed 2023. We are mourning lost lives due to police and gun violence, like Tyre Nichols, Tortuguita, the victims of the Monterey Park shooting on Lunar New Year, and so many more.
For 2023, AmazeWorks made “possibility” our word of the year. In our last newsletter, we asked you:
What do we need to focus on in 2023 so that our wildest dreams seem possible?
What if, this year, we see less injustice than ever before?
What if the AmazeWorks mission – to champion equity and belonging for all – could be alive in every school, workplace, community, and home?
We decided to hone in on possibility, not to set unrealistic expectations for the course of the year, but because we have witnessed cultural change in action because of investment in belonging. Belonging makes it possible to live in a world where we see the dignity in every human being. Belonging makes it possible for every person to show up without hiding parts of who they are. When we notice, name, and reject our biases and commit to difficult and brave conversations, we invest in healing and transformative change.
In this newsletter, we share resources inviting us to consider our racial identities in how we process and talk about highly visible tragedies. We also share our 2022 Annual Report, fueling our belief in the possibility for belonging for all, further brought to life through connection and community relationships. In order to fight for safety and healing, we need to believe and invest in belonging.
written by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard and illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
Two families, one White and one Black, talk about and process a police shooting of a Black man in their community. This book provides an opportunity to talk frankly with younger children about police violence against Black/African Americans. As Memphis protesters continue to call for justice for Tyre Nichols and Black victims of police violence, it is important for families of ALL racial identities to have conversations about race and policing.
written by Resmaa Menakem
This AmazeWorks lesson for 6th graders helps kids develop respect across differences and notice, name, and reject racial bias. Students will watch a video in which a racially diverse group of students discuss personal experiences with racism and bias. This is a good lesson to connect stereotypes with microaggressions, as some of the students in the videos give clear examples of microaggressions they’ve experienced.