Feb 2022

Disrupter Celebration

Ever sit in a room with your co-worker and listen to a racially charged joke that made you uncomfortable? As you divert your eyes to avoid eye-contact from others, you questioned yourself "why." It was hard to put a finger on exactly what made you feel a little guilty. Later that day, you realize that it was because you knew the joke was upholding societal negative biases against the people that we care for. This leads you to wonder "What can I do to disrupt oppression?"

There is a lot of work going on to address social injustices within our culture, workplaces, and our commuinity. All this to say: there is still a great deal of work ahead. Although organizations like the Tacoma Urban League, Black Lives Matters, El Centro de la Raza, Washington Community Action Network, Northwest Justice Project and allies have succeeded in pushing through a number of groundbreaking reforms, new symptoms of systemic injustices come to light every day.

Your allyship may have begun with a few social media posts, it doesn't have to stop there. To push for effective, lasting change, each of us needs to critically evaluate the long-term role we are best suited to play in this social justice movement. In doing so, we take into consideration our skills, interests, and the environments in which we can thrive and make the greatest contributions.

This brings me to the work that Miriam Robinson is doing with her students. She takes her students along with her in the fight against social injustices. Coordinating with Us vs. Hate, she is able to amplify the voices of students and their commitment to a more inclusive community. #USvsHate (“us versus hate”)  is about embracing inclusion and justice for all in our diverse schools and society. Their messages insist publicly that all people are equally valuable. Check out the recent winter winners. 

Miriam's student, Ivonne, was a 6th grader when she created this digital art and she was recently announced a winner of this national competition.   This was her second year submitting student work and she has also been featured on their website videos.  This project was created in collaboration with UC San Diego and Learning for Justice. You can also check out her other student Noel Meza who was featured last year.

As you step away from this email, please take a moment to reflect on your own contributions. Are you taking into consideration your skills, interests, and the spaces in which you can make the greatest contributions? The work to make a more inclusive community and school comes not from a single BIG action but a multitude of little ones. These small steps are critical to progress.

Do you have a story to share, do you know of someone who is doing this work, or would you like to learn more? Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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