In the wake of a violent week, thoughts from the CCE’s Director

Speechless, but not powerless: in times of confusion, fear, and sadness, we seek the strength, skills, and respect for each other to build stronger communities where all of our citizens are celebrated and included… and can thrive and grow up, old, wise, and in the light of love and respect.

Community engagement is one way to work towards that vision of a better future. The thing that keeps us hopeful are the MANY friends in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, PRIDE Center, Community Service Office, Women’s Center, Literature and Social Justice (English), Africana Studies, theĀ Council for Equity and Community – to name but a few – who are engaging us in discussions and pushing us to be a better version of ourselves. There exist strong voices on campus constantly thinking critically and challenging injustices. This gives us a small glimmer of hope through these waves of sadness.

And we know that this work is not easy and not everyone feels included in inclusion. It’s daunting. It’s hard. It makes us have to confront things that we might not like about ourselves or our society, and some can be paralyzed from having the discussion because they simply do not know how and worry a misstep will reveal their ignorance. Yet, most of us have a feeling that we need to and can move forward to a just world, and are unsure how.

For those who seek that way forward, but are uncertain how to begin, Parker Palmer’s tools from “Healing the Heart of Democracy” are a great start. He outlines 5 habits for each of us to cultivate to challenge, question, listen, learn, grow, and appreciate. When such habits become our second nature, the world and our communities will mirror those ideals. There’s no better day than today to start. – SES

NOTE: This was originally posted to our Facebook page on 07.08.16.