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National Day of Silence April 7, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in bigotry, civil disobedience, Ohio Politics, Westerville, Westerville North.
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How tremendous that Westerville City Schools, along with thousands of schools across this country, are empowering teens to act against intolerance and hate through the annual Day of Silence on April 25th. In 1849, Henry David Thoreau introduced the world to the concept of civil disobedience; since then we have learned the power of civil disobedience through leaders like Martin Luther King and Ghandi.

Through their act of silence on the 25th, teens across the country are standing up to discrimination and hate directed toward people who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual in the best Thoreau tradition. They are reaching beyond themselves.

The children of baby boomers, our current teens, generation Y, are described by pundits as materialistic, self-centered and in need of immediate gratification.

How refreshing it is that they are willing to take on causes such as discrimination against marginal communities, whether or not they are part of that community.

Teaching our students that standing up for the rights of people who are different from the majority is an unequivocally American value.

The day of silence will raise awareness for the just cause of tolerance and the recognition that each of us is an individual. It is ok to be different.

Again, I am proud to live in Westerville, Ohio.

Teaching our Children the Important Stuff January 29, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in civil disobedience, hampton, historically black colleges, martin luther king, segregation, Uncategorized.


After someone dies, it’s easy to want to hear the stories one more time. Withstanding that possibility, all one can do is piece together sketchy memories of once heard tales. This past Martin Luther King Day made me think of some of the stories my mom told of living in Hampton, Virginia as a young girl.  My grandfather taught at the historically black institution, Hampton Institute, now Hampton Univeristy for several years, as did many Jewish educators who were not welcome in northern white schools. Although my mom did not attend high school in Hampton, she did grow up there, where she made some close friends. 

My favorite story from Hampton had to do with mom convincing the manager of the movie theater she was black so that she could sit with her friends in the segregated theater.  That just makes me laugh, as I look at the above picture, probably taken sometime between 1942-1945. I would love to know if these were the friends she went to the movies with.  How she convinced ANYONE she was not lily white is beyond me.

My mom was always an advocate for equal rights: racial, gender, economic, religious, sexual orientation, age….  you name it.  She even marched on Washington at the age of 74!  It is obvious that her life was grounded in human rights and justice.  Thank you, mom, for passing that onto me.