By Christen Higgins Clougherty, Ph.D., Executive Director, Nobis Project
Four years ago, on the day after the election, I awoke very early to catch a flight from Savannah to New York City where I was to lead a workshop on Nobis Project’s Social Justice Framework for Service-Learning. It was not until I awoke that morning that I learned of the election results. And with most of the world still asleep I packed up my three month old and we quietly made my way through airports and subways to my aunt’s apartment where we spent the morning together processing the news. That afternoon I met with service-learning educators for a workshop sponsored by New York State Association of Independent Schools and hosted by Trinity School. I feared that no one would show up. And instead, dozens arrived. It was a healing moment to come together and think about why we each have been called to this work. To the work of:
- building community;
- exploring diverse perspectives;
- exposing systemic oppression; and
- nurturing the next generation of change leaders.
All of the high school students we have worked with since the last election were eligible to vote yesterday. And some will go on to run for office. Some will exercise their first amendment and protest decisions that are made. Some will become teachers and follow in our footsteps. And for others, their service-learning experiences will inspire other career choices.
And today, when red and blue seems polarizing and emphasizing our differences in perspectives. I am reminded that a central element to our work is teaching global citizenship, which requires an understanding of our interdependence. And interdependence calls us to work together.