Looking at the current political and societal climate in the US, it is more important that ever, to make sure everyone knows that they are welcomed in a classroom. This sounds as a common sense: while certain public figures and media outlets do not hesitate to divide us more and more everyday; to create a state of insecurity about certain groups of people, and to push their agenda, we have a responsibility to be more pro-active when it comes to the inclusion. However, the first step is to acknowledge hidden bias and privilege. If you have never “walked in their shoes”, how can you be sure that a certain word or a seemingly innocent act does not trigger a painful memory ? Of course, there is always room to improve by listening and letting people share. However, this is only one aspect, and to be quite frank, bare minimum of what we need to do.
There should be more soul searching: next time that someone refers to an statistics, supposedly supporting a skewed narrative, we can critically look into the analysts personal bias. And if we do that, we can trace how often times , the way the things work is broken. Lately, a friend of mine told me how she is being extra careful when reading books to her 5 year old son to limit his exposure to patriarchy that is present in children book. And I got shocked and then I realized, if I’m missing on patriarchy that is in children book, what else am I missing there ?