Posts from the ‘Education’ Category

#6 From the Archives: Adjustments,Tucks and Plans

My niece, Karen, is my Super Hero. Every day she does things I can only imagine; seismic acts combining our highest human qualities with medical professionalism in her job as a nurse. This piece brought me to tears once again. Even more so because nearly two whole years have passed. This was published right after the White House turned orange and before we knew just how much worse things could get.

Karen recently moved from southern California back to Minnesota, where she continues to “be a helper”. I’m guessing this will remind her and the SoCal crew how much they miss each other…

First published: November 15, 2016

Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist,
Southern California
(then) Minnesota (now)

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?”  (when the White House turned orange) After reading this you will have some ideas on that… Read more…

Camron ~ Invest in a Young Poet

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to fledgling poet, Camron McDonald: the 13-year old son of my former Little Sister, Alette. (When she was ten years old, she and I were matched for eight years through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Marin and we’ve stayed in touch.) Now I’m thrilled to work with Camron. Once a week for the past three months we meet to revise the poems he began writing in a 2017 summer enrichment program. His natural affinity and sheer joy of exploring emotion through words amazes me. How many 8th grade boys do you know who’d spend three hours after school seriously revising poems?

Back in November 2017, on our first day of revising, I promised Camron that as long as he showed up and worked I was happy to help. He is still holding up his end of the bargain and here’s an opportunity for you to help, too:

Camron is in need of a laptop to do homework and work more efficiently on his poetry. I’m asking you to invest in this young poet. Through our small family foundation make a donation—of any amount—toward the purchase of the laptop and receive a copy of his debut chapbook:

 

~ #MyGivingStory ~ Asking for your VOTE

Click above to VOTE

This coming Tuesday, November 28th is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving started in 2012. For America I think of it as a peaceful protest against the commercial gluttony of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and a powerful way to kick off the charitable season.

I serve as Co-Founder and Exec. Director of our small family foundation, The Gaines-Jones Education Foundation (GJEF) ~ dedicated to youth advocacy and college scholarships for African-Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area and southwest Georgia. I entered an original essay telling GJEF’s story in the #MyGivingStorycontest. Between now and Dec 7th our essay needs your votes to move up in the contest.

GJEF’s goal from Giving Tuesday through the end of 2017 is to raise $5,000 to launch an on-going series of college readiness seminars for black 10th graders in Albany, Georgia.

Please read the Gaines-Jones story explaining our mission ~ then cast your vote.
• Prizes include grants up to $10,000

100% of these funds will go toward our annual scholarship awards and the launching of our college readiness seminars.

• You, your friends and family can vote once a day until Dec. 7th
EASY STEPS ~ Go to the page, wait a few seconds, a box will pop up with the essay and a green VOTE button in upper left corner. Prove you’re not a robot, enter email then click VOTE.
• Read the essay and VOTE HERE!

Please circulate to your networks! Problems with link? email me: ajr.gaines.jones@gmail.com

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1996, Ann Arbor: My late sister, Dr. Betty Jean Jones, at University of Michigan, directing her final production: TOOTH IN CRIME.

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Must-see Film ~ Screening in Albany, Georgia: Tuesday, 9/12/17

 

Albany Civil Rights Institute Presents Award-Winning Civil Rights Documentary & Discussion Featuring Several Black Albanians, Filmmaker

The Albany Civil Rights Institute will present an award-winning civil rights film, featuring multiple black Albanians, who fought on the front lines of the bloodiest campaign of the entire Civil Rights Movement.

                  The Institute will present the hour-long documentary, Passage at St. Augustine: The 1964 That Transformed America™, Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at 326 Whitney Avenue, Albany, GA 31701. The program will feature filmmaker Clennon L. King, and is free and open to the public. Read more…

National Amnesia & Bipartisan Disorder

Anita’s Note ~ Come on people. Have we really forgotten that the same country that elected Barack Obama elected Donald Trump? And that country participated in the Middle Passage slave trade for 245 YEARS? And that same was the architect of what W.E.B. Dubois described as “the freedom to destroy freedom”? As a result our country suffers from what I’m calling bipartisan disorder* (scroll down for definition & let me know if somebody else is calling it that, too).

I love what is good about America—and there’s a lot to love—doesn’t mean choosing to forget the horrors. Trump has delivered a wake-up call. Let’s not turn over and go back to sleep.

A few minutes a go I took a break from revising the novel to indulge in content for my next blog post—my reward for six hours of writing/revising. The words “national+amnesia” popped into my head like an original idea. Not. A quick search  lead me to an op-ed by Ana Paulina Lee, assistant professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies at Columbia University, NYC. Ms. Lee has eloquently told it like it is and gave me permission to re-blog

Guest Blogger

 

Ana Paulina Lee, Columbia University

“How would one think differently of the United States if we were to think of it not as a nation built by immigrants — a national myth — but rather as a nation built on slavery and the removal of Indigenous people from their land?” ~ Ana Paulina Lee “Op-Ed; The Perils of National Amnesia.” Truth-out.org. 7 Jul. 2016.

*bi•par•ti•san dis•or•der
noun
a political disorder marked by alternating periods of national elation and depression brought on by how one casts one’s votes.  ~ Anita Gail Jones

“Students across the US, regardless of their background, may graduate from college without ever learning about inconvenient histories. Yet, national forgetting is powerful. It enables ideology like racial supremacy to not only exist, but evolve.” ~ Ana Paulina Lee “Op-Ed; The Perils of National Amnesia.” Truth-out.org. 7 Jul. 2016.

“…histories of racial violence are not over. And we need our classrooms and our culture — and not just Jesse Williams — to tell that truth.” ~ Ana Paulina Lee

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Adjustments,Tucks and Plans

Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist, Southern California 

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?” After reading this you will have some ideas on that…

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist waits, expecting it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Thank you for your continued guidance Aunt Anita…as I woke to my alarm last Wednesday morning and learned the “official” call, I had to pick my jaw and heart up off the floor, make my coffee, get out the door and get to the hospital where I take care of almost exclusively Latino families whose child is experiencing a serious medical condition. And when I got to my unit, the air was eery and thick. Generally I’m there before the kids wake up so I’m slipping into each room silently checking tubes and drains and medication and safety equipment before I ever see those little eyes open.

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On Wednesday the TVs in each room were quietly broadcasting various newscasts. Moms and dads and grandmas were soundlessly, dazedly watching. As I tucked and adjusted and straightened, I made eye contact with those parents and thankfully no words were needed as my heart had gone from the floor to my throat and there would have been nothing my voice could have produced. Each room, I did my checking and felt those parents and felt the weight of our new reality.


And then when Hillary spoke that morning, the unit paused and I watched with my Latino and black and Muslim and female colleagues and together we fought back tears and anger. And then the day marched on as it had to so we could treat, heal, and love those families. Then the week marched on and the waves of sadness, grief, disbelief, and fear have rolled in.

It’s traumatic. It’s traumatic to witness the destruction of our friends’ and neighbors’ civil rights. Just ask those who have come before us. We are witness to a(nother) surge of open white supremacy and hate speech. And it’s traumatic. As with all trauma it can be difficult to navigate.

I am encouraged by those who call for action and preparation…I like adjustments, I like tucks and I like plans. But I fear that calls for unity are delicately disguised calls for acceptance. I cannot accept. I cannot stand in the face of this and call it a difference of opinion. I’m not grieving because of our different viewpoints on social and political issues. I grieve because Trump’s hate rhetoric is bigoted harassment toward our vulnerable people and his election is a sign that—for at least half of our voting country—this is acceptable.

I thought only the fringes of society could possibly overlook his misogynist, racist, homophobic, sexist values and actually vote for him. This cannot be normalized, it cannot be woven into normal life. I am thankful for those who are called to protest and activate. For me, while I might not hold that picket sign, I’ll continue to be a helper. I will continue to help and love and value all different people no matter their race, religion, how much they have, who they love, what they believe in…I will be a helper…and lean on those who have been here before to help me.

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“We Shall Not Be Moved” ~ March On Washington 1963

America has been here before.

Watch this video of the Freedom Singers that preeminent day 53 years ago.

The Freedom Singers began in Albany, Georgia in 1962 during the Civil Rights Movement. From L-R: Charles Neblett (bass), Bernice Johnshon Reagon (alto) Cordell Reagon (tenor), unknown and Rutha Harris (soprano). This performance was at The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Tuesday, August 28, 1963.

We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

May 27, 2014 ~ After North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis refuses to meet with North Carolinians, a sit-in turns into a church service lead by Rev.William J. Barber, President of the NC NAACP:

Other versions of the song: http://civilrightssongs.blogspot.com/2015/02/we-shall-not-be-moved-lyrics-videos-and.html

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Freedom Riders at the March on Washington, 1963

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Civil rights organizer Karen House at ’63 March.

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Paul Newman at ’63 March

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Marchers cool their feet in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, ’63 March on Washington

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March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom: 8.28.63

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