The Election Is Over. So Now What Are You Going To Do?

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A text came through to me just before lunchtime from a former student of mine, and the concern in her words was so sincere and ran deep.

“ I can’t believe that someone like Donald Trump is President. I can’t believe that in 2016 America could elect a modern day Hitler.” I felt like she wanted me to jump on the bandwagon of commiseration, but I didn’t. I did that annoying thing that teachers sometimes do, played devil’s advocate if you will, and let her flesh out where she really needed to go with what she was feeling. “I just don’t know what to do about it. I need a project or something. I know I gotta be the change I wish to see in the world but what do I do..”

I’m usually pretty quick to give suggestions when met with an opportunity like this and made several. I know that a lot of people are scared, nervous, frustrated and fed up with the way the election panned out, but what good is going to come from being negative or complaining? As always, actions speak louder than words, and so if concerns about our country on a vast array of issues are filling your mind and heart this morning, then my question to you is: what are you going to DO about it?

If you’ve read any of my pieces, you will know that this young girl has been an important part of my teaching career and life. The I Remember Committee we breathed life into together as teacher and student took off within our district and runs strong in our absence. And as we brainstormed today, an idea was born that has lit a fire in us once again. A former teacher turned SAHM and a young woman taking a step back from her college career to figure it all out want to DO something. And so I came up with this, “ Take the I Remember Committee national. Start by contacting all Erie County schools. See if they want to develop a chapter. Remembering human rights. Help coordinate speakers for the districts...Education is crucial, and you will be providing that.”

And so an idea that we have worked on in the past and both cared a great deal about will now drive our actions for the future. A future that may look bleak, but one which we can have a hand in battling against through the education of the youth of our country on topics about humanity and equal rights for all.

As in the words of Tanya Khan, a former I Remember Committee speaker from 2013, who taught us,

“Hate knows no faith, culture, race, age, identity. To nurture and brew hate- you don’t love it and take care of it- you ignore it. You pretend it doesn’t exist. when you see something wrong, you look the other way. You rationalize things. And that’s the danger- when you see something wrong you need to think about it- what’s my role in this?”

We have decided that our role, for the time being at least, is to spread the message of hope, equality, and reverence for the past starting in our small corner of the world, and reaching for the sky with its limitless possibilities.

If you are in the field of education, and would like to know more about how to start your own chapter of the I Remember Committee, please visit and leave a message on our blog: https://iremembercommittee.wordpress.com/