Moment of Reflection: An Open Letter to My StudentsMar 10, 2021
As the world continues to find a moment of peace, I want you each to know I'm thinking of you and your safety during this time. The power of learning intercultural communication, especially in today's social climate, is understanding where culture exists, how to embrace it, and when humanity is valued.
Throughout this quarter and this weekend, I believe you've had a distinctive opportunity to see, at first glance, how the past meets the present. From health disparities in communities of color during the COVID-19 public health crisis, to today, the sixth day in protests across the world, aiming to raise awareness and boldly saying, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
As I reflect on my identity, similar to how I asked each of you this quarter, I see myself in a cultural dyad. First as Black, second as a woman and third, as an educator who's inspired by each of you. I hope this quarter's textbooks and lectures have provided the foundation you need to analyze symbols of justice, the core of power structures, what the act of looting means (historically and in the present), and how collective voices create change and accountability for others.
Thank you for being cultural warriors and intercultural thinkers. The names of many, we will forever remember includes: George Floyd, Eric Gardner, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Arbery, Ariane McCree, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant and countless others.
The names of these beautiful humans, are cemented in my memory and I offer a poem by the incomparable, Langston Hughes, who's 1951, Harlem: A Dream Deferred poem, symbolizes the consequences of when the dreams, hopes and goals of equality are not achieved:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Please remain safe, protected and thank you for being a member of my class.
Veronica Appleton, PhD-abd
DePaul University, Intercultural Communication
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