Dana 2016

Dana Mortenson

Ed Notes- World Savvy (WS) is no stranger to KIDS as we first met Dana two years prior to the launch of World Savvy. We have always looked to WS for clear thinking and putting words into action. At KIDS we strongly support their stance on what took place in Charlottesville and hope that you will read the action plan from The Southern Poverty Law Center and be part of the solution.

Charlottesville - Confronting our Divisions and Working on Healing

By Dana Mortenson

Dear World Savvy Community,

The horrific events of the past week have shaken our community, as we all are reminded again of the deep divisions across this country, and the enormous need to heal those divides and create a society in which all individuals are equally protected and allowed to thrive in our democracy. White supremacists, neo-Nazis and xenophobes marched on Charlottesville, VA without mask or hood, unafraid and unashamed, leaving destruction and death in their wake. To us and our community it is unambiguous: there is no equivalence in this matter between hate-filled protesters with Nazi salutes and propaganda, and the counter-protesters who bravely advocated for equality and humanity. The former threatens the very core of democratic society, the latter upholds it.

We understand, too, that these are not isolated incidents, but symptoms of a much deeper, more systemic challenge: the institutionalized racism, xenophobia and white privilege that has created inequity and wrought structural and physical violence since our country's founding. We know the practical, every day ramifications of this. That those people who marched proudly will return to their jobs and civic roles in communities across the country: on juries, as doctors or nurses, hospice care, teachers, law enforcement officials and government employees, and too many more professions and capacities to name. We know that the bias and hate manifest in their actions shows up in those 'everyday' roles- impacting the lives of Americans in real, practical ways. The systemic ways in which this manifests are profound and far-reaching - in our criminal justice system, housing, health care, and in education, to name just a few.

Coming together to dismantle that system of hate and oppression has to be our highest priority as citizens. World Savvy is, has always been, and will remain deeply committed to this effort, to ensure students, educators, schools and districts across the country can do the important work needed in the coming weeks, months and years. We believe that building global competence, and greater capacity for empathy, perspective taking, critical thinking and collaboration across difference are critical steps in the direction we need to travel, together.

As a part of our community, we encourage your feedback and involvement- about how we can do more, help in different ways, and double down on our efforts in the coming year. Here is a resource - from the Southern Poverty Law Center we believe begin to address how we can collectively be part of the solution - and we welcome more from you. Please share these within your networks, and if you have others to offer to our community, please share those with us directly.

Thank you for being a part of the World Savvy community - one that believes in a future that is inclusive, equitable and just for all people. World Savvy's work IS this work - this is our mission: to tackle this head on and work together toward a new reality. Everything we do ties back to this burning imperative. We are proud to do this work in partnership with you, and will work tirelessly to fulfill our mission to educate and engage youth to be responsible global citizens, prepared to thrive in a more diverse and interconnected world.

Yours in solidarity,

Dana Mortenson and the World Savvy Team

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