Thursday, September 22, 2011
Yesterday a brother named Troy Davis was executed for supposedly killing a police officer over 20 years ago. Though seven out of nine witnesses recanted their statements he was still executed (http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/usa-troy-davis). Over the past week I have seen people express anger, hurt, peace. I have listened to people speak about the family of Troy Davis, but also the family of the police officer killed. In the midst of all of the unjust and hurtful realities where do we find hope?
Hope means, “to desire with expectation of obtainment.” Yesterday there were vigils, protests, and petitions even went out to stop the execution. All of this energy shifted towards bringing about change in the midst of injustice. What I wrestle with is what happens tomorrow? Today this is all over CNN, facebook, and intertwined in our conversations. But, how often do we forget about the Troy Davis’ of the world and move on to speaking about the next issue. What are you going to do in this movement for hope, justice and equality today, tomorrow, next week, next month, this year, next year, five years from now? I am hopeful how we as a people can mobilize and speak out against injustice. I am also hopeful that we can step up and challenge ourselves by investing our energy and time in joining a cause, signing a petition, volunteering in our community, educating our children and by becoming involved in ways that can bring about sustainable change in our community, our country, our world. Like Gandhi expressed, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
Argrow “Kit” Evans
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
My 5-year-old niece (Judah), my 41-year-old sister, and I all experienced the same event this past week: the first day of school! On Judah's first day of school I called her to hear excitement in her voice. Her mother told me she went to sleep early for the first time without fussing and woke up before the sun came up. Her excitement about her education exuded beyond measure. Judah's super woman t-shirt matched her super intense smile, with excitement, with gratitude, with expectation.
Millions, if not billions of people around the world have a first day of school every year. I am now going into my 12th year as a student outside of high school and I must say it has been quite a journey. Some joys, hardships; some accomplishments, but also some sleepless nights. As I enter into my last year as a student (formally) I ask myself was it worth it? At first instinct realistically I quickly say, "Heck to the NO!" The life of a graduate student can be quite trying! But, there are those moments where I challenge myself to think outside of myself. I remember my great grandmother telling me stories of working as a maid in our small Southern town. I remember her telling me stories about her father share cropping on another man's land just to feed his own children. Grandma had a middle school education. I assume her father did not have the privilege to go beyond elementary school. My grandmother was a wise woman and her words often ring in my head, "Get as much education as you can get baby, get as much as you can get." Grandma knew that education was actually a privilege and something very important.
Thinking outside of myself helps me to remember that sacrificing to attain an education actually is not solely for ourselves, but our determination to achieve what ever dream we aspire is passed down to the next generation within and outside of our communities, our families. What is it that we will pass on to our children? Write the paper, take the exam, take the course, get the degree. Not everyone is called to be an academic, but we can strive to learn as much as we can in our work striving to bring our best selves in whatever work we are called to do. Cars, houses, and clothing all depreciate, but our high school diplomas, certificates, and/or college degrees hold their value.
Grandma always noted, "No one can ever take your education from you." She was right! Though the world is in very trying economic times and jobs are scarce, education still has much worth and always will. After 12 years of hard work in the academic game I can say that it was all worth it. It's worth it! GO HARD and go get it ya'll!