As I've thought about this prompt throughout the day, my mind kept circling back to a video I watched a couple of years ago in a course centered around the social and historical factors of early childhood care and education. The video was a documentary of the beginning of Head Start and Lyndon B. Johnson's so called "War on Poverty" in the 1960s. As with any federal undertaking, Head Start's government founders had their own political agendas, however it is the conviction and passion of the teachers and mothers that I observed in the video that hit me. These amazing women took a political agenda and shaped it to serve children and families. At the same time, in 1966, 3 amazingly smart women founded my much loved graduate school, Erikson Institute. This was a time when the importance of early childhood education was barely on anyone's radar and yet a host of teachers, parents, and community members thoughtfully and adamantly put child development on the map.
At the same time, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. Rosa Parks reused to move to the back of a bus, children like Ruby Bridges bravely demanded equal educational opportunities, Martin Luther King Junior was inspiring change, and young people across the nation were standing up for what they believed in. The 1960s were a powerful time of activism and belief in social justice. This was a time that set the stage for change, that laid the groundwork for social protests and community voice, that ordinary people sparked extraordinary change.
The type of change that shakes people and a nation to their core. The type of change that people die for. The type of change that inspires the future. And I wonder if I would have been daring enough, confident enough, willful enough, brave enough to participate in that amount of social change?
I hope so.