There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle
because we do not lead single issue lives.
– Audre Lorde
When I met Arthur Lieber this past spring, I asked him about why he and Carol chose Crossroads as the name of this school. He shared that they choose the name “because of the diversity” in the school. As I think about this conversation and as I learn about and work with our students, I detect not only diversity that we see but also an interest in and a commitment to diversity of experience as well. When I met the students at announcements on Monday, I tried to allude to this.
I invited students to be curious about their own experiences and the experiences of others. I invited students to be curious about what the situation in Ferguson might reveal about our region and our relationships. And I invited students to be curious about how Mike Brown’s funeral, taking place just miles from us, might resonate with each of us differently.
We are all situated in our own experiences and identities. This is also a kind of crossroads as all the categories to which we belong intersect on multiple and simultaneous levels. Our senses of and experiences with safety, justice, agency, and opportunity, for example, are affected by the intersection, the crossroads, at which each of us stands.
Today, when I visited Shadi’s Sociology class, they were discussing values in educational institutions. I was impressed by the comments and the consideration for other points of view, by the pride in Crossroads, and by the tension between being Crossroads and still being invitational to viewpoints other than our own. It was an excellent demonstration of how thoughtful and aware our students seem to be: thoughtful and aware of where they stand and where others might be standing.
As our students lead for today and tomorrow, I believe that holding a simultaneous awareness of themselves and others and practicing a willingness to listen will change our world.
With great expectations,