February is Black History Month. For Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, AMAZEworks shared a social media series reflecting on racial justice work spanning from the Civil Rights Movement to today. We sought inspiration from Civil Rights leaders of the past, reevaluated the dominant framing of MLK’s work in the present, and celebrated young leaders investing in their future. In our reflections, we were moved by the deep impact of individual action.
That is why our theme this month is Resiliency & Justice. Racial justice work continues because of the resilience of our community members and leaders of our past, present, and future. Because this work is continually met with resistance, we need to channel resilience by caring for ourselves and reframing our approach to this work.
We have found inspiration and gratitude from learning from our past, investing in our present, and looking to our future. We hope the practices, conversations, and resources shared in this newsletter bring you the tools to practice resiliency and continue your commitment to justice.
Resiliency: Taking Vestiges of the Past to Reimagine the Future
An Interview with Dr. Artika R Tyner
Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, lawyer, justice advocate, and founder of Planting People Growing Justice (PPGJ), a publishing company and nonprofit that promotes literacy and diversity in books. She is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and serves as the founding director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice. She is a prolific and award-winning author of seventeen children and adult books, including Justice Makes a Difference, Amazing Africa: A to Z, and The Inclusive Leader: Taking Intentional Action for Justice and Equity. AMAZEworks is honored to have had the opportunity to speak with and learn from this racial justice leader of the Twin Cities.
Black History Month
- Little Sprouts: Anti-Bias Guide & Black History Month
- NPR: Here’s the story behind Black History Month — and why it’s celebrated in February
- ASALA: 2022 Black History Month Theme – Black Health and Wellness
- Learning for Justice: Teaching Black History Month
Lunar New Year
- History.com: Lunar New Year 2022
- CSUF Future Titans Read: Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu / Story Time Read Aloud
- CNET: Google Doodle Welcomes Lunar New Year 2022: The Year of the Tiger
Justice Makes a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire
Written by Dr. Artika Tyner and Jacklyn Milton, Illustrated by Jeremy Norton and Janos Orban
Why we love this book: This book can help empower children to take action and become community leaders. Justice’s grandmother shows her examples of community change through individual action and historical figures who made a difference, like Shirley Chisholm and Ida B. Wells. Justice becomes inspired to become a change maker, too.
AMAZEworks Middle School Lesson: Why Do We Still Need Black History Month?
Why we love this lesson: This lesson emphasizes the importance of Black History Month by inviting adolescents to critically reflect on their understanding of the holiday and how Black history has been taught in their homes and classrooms. It also recognizes the importance of incorporating multiple perspectives into our curriculum and lessons throughout the school year.
Ethos in Action: A Practice for Cultivating Your Anti-Bias Mindset, Skills, & Tools
Centering is an important practice rooted in somatic awareness. It is a practice of intentional adaptation, which is so important in this time of continual uncertainty and change.
Bring your attention to center.
Feel your dignity,
your right to take up space,
your connection with others,
and your relationship with the arc of your life.
What is your purpose? Let that fill you up.
What is your mood?
Let your breath guide you into your body, into your center.
Let your length be long.
Let your width be wide.
Let your depth be deep.
Feel yourself on purpose.
What is it that you love, what is it that you most long for?
Whatever vision you have of the future, who is it you must be in order to realize this vision?
Feel that love and longing in the center of your being and let it fill you up with purpose.
(from Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation by adrienne marie brown)