Moving mountains takes all kinds of support – The role of Coretta Scott King in advancing civil rights

Essay written by Rachel Lwin, member of the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee Last week, TNSM parent and DC+E member Allie Precht commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. and discussed the way his life, work, and legacy are taught to students past and present. It got me thinking about the man himself and the Civil Rights Movement of course, but also his wife and civil rights activist, Coretta Scott King. Hers is a name that has rolled off my tongue countless times in my former work as a librarian because she has a family of book awards named after her. The …

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Essay written by Allie Blocksom Precht, member of Diversity + Community Engagement Committee I often (guiltily & too simply) tie Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with his profound quotes and excerpts from his memorable “I have a dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington at our nation’s capital. I recognize this merely condenses his work, impact and memory to a video clip–words on a page or Instagram post where there deserves to be so much more.  There is work I need to do to educate myself about the history of the civil rights movement which includes the work …

Why Am I Repelled by Mindfulness: It’s Not What You Might Think

“Simply said, you make soul by living life, not by retreating from the world into ‘inner work’ or beyond the world in spiritual disciplines and meditation removes …. [but rather by leaving behind] the Cartesian split between inner and outer—good soul inside and the world, the flesh, and the devil outside ….”                                                                            —James Hillman, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy—and the World’s …

Learning more about Kwanzaa

Article written by Portia Dyrenforth, TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member This year I decided it was time to update my very cursory knowledge of Kwanzaa. I remember learning about it during elementary school when a parent gave a presentation to our class, but to be honest, I don’t know much beyond the very basics. After spending some time down an internet-rabbit hole, I know a little bit more and have a lot left to learn. In the spirit of this busy time of year and incremental learning, I wanted to share two short video clips that …

Jewish Festival of Lights speaks to a universal truth about light 

Essay written by Hope Mille (TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement member) As I write this, it’s the first day of December and the third day of Hanukkah. It’s the time of year when I bemoan the fading light. Although I don’t observe Hanukkah, I appreciate the miracle of the light. (Well, technically, the oil was the miracle.)  Syrians took control of Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE, persecuted the Jewish people, and desecrated the Second Temple. After regaining control of Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt, Jewish people rededicated the Second Temple by lighting a candelabra. While there was only enough …

Seeing a taxi in the Covid Test car line awakens an understanding…

In 1990, “over 1,000 people marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. When they got there, about 60 of them cast aside their wheelchairs and other mobility aids and crawled up the Capitol steps” (history.com). This event, later called the Capitol Crawl, served as a catalyst, perhaps the catalyst, for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.   The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is on December 3, and this year’s theme is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, …

Resources to open conversations and spark curiosity

Essay written by TNSM parent and D+CE member Allie Precht Hope, Rachel, Portia & Claudia have shared such lovely, vulnerable and informative stories over the past 4 weeks along with many resources that I want to re-share with our TNSM community. These resources can open conversations with our families, within ourselves, and spark curiosity and learning within our children. Claudia shared this video of the song Aya Aya (Hello, Hello) – try singing with you children as a way of honoring some of the ancestors of this land we call home now. Portia shared a list of Native American Children’s …

To see and be seen — such a powerful act of humanity!

  Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Enrichment chair, Claudia Lòpez Aya! tipeewe neeyolaani During my time at Miami University, twenty years ago, I had the privilege to work closely and develop a friendship with Daryl Baldwin, a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the founding director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University. I would go to Daryl’s home in Indiana, about twenty minutes from Oxford, to pick up chicken — I might have gotten some goat at some point. He also introduced me to topinambur, also known as Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes. Daryl …

Understanding Thanksgiving through the work of Indigenous authors

Essay written by TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member – Portia Dyrenforth Thanksgiving confuses me as a parent. I love the traditions of feasting and being with loved ones. I know the myths that I was taught about the “First Thanksgiving” are wrong and harmful. I am unsure how to combine these two perspectives to explain and celebrate appropriately with small children. So far, I have tended to focus on the “thanks” part of the holiday. I know from my background as a research psychologist that gratitude is a surprisingly strong predictor of well-being. So, gratitude seems …

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place?

What does it mean to be Indigenous to a place? In Braiding Sweetgrass, scientist and Indigenous author Robin Wall Kimmerer explains, “For all of us, becoming Indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it” (9). She wonders if our “nation of immigrants” can “once again…become native…[and] make a home?” (ibid.)  Building on Rachel Lwin’s post from last week, I invite us to think about: festivals, fading light, and forming a relationship to a place.  Halloween, as Rachel discussed last …