We still have more work to do


Last updated 1/28/2022 at 11:33am

I am writing this on Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Day. I am reminded today of all the changes I have seen over the years. I was in high school in the 60’s and was barely aware of the civil rights movement. By the time I got to graduate school in the late 80’s, the professors at my college said there is more work to be done about not only racism but other social issues.

It turned out that I became a teacher trainer for early childhood educators. At my college, Pacific Oaks, we were trained in Anti-Bias Curriculum. Our professors believed that to understand diversity best would be to work with the younger children. This consciousness was prevalent at the time. After a while, dolls came in different shades. Does anyone remember the Cabbage Patch Dolls?

Also, do you remember how we used to sing “One little two little three little Indians?” And, having the kids sit “Indian style.” Well, I don't think that song is being sung anymore and the sitting position has been replaced with “crisscross applesauce.” Also, it was about that time that Disney changed from Snow White and Cinderella to Aladdin and Lion King.

I am often reminded of the current concerns about Critical Race Theory, a course taught to law students on how previous laws have affected society. This course is not being taught to the K-12 students here in California. But a law, AB101, was recently passed. It is a course to be taught to high school students, not mandatory for a few years out.

I have read the whole curriculum outline, all 320 pages. It is basically a senior level, high school age-appropriate history course. It includes the following cultures: Hispanic, Asian, Native-American, and African American. It is recommended that open forum type meetings are included so that the objectives and goals are clear to the parents and community.

So, you are right if you have noticed society changes. The intention for change has been toward compassion of one another and a better understanding of diversity and inclusion. As Dr. King said, “I have a dream.” Well, that dream has started and is getting better slowly but surely.

Diane Summers


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