In many ways we feel isolated. In a bubble made of false ideologies and idealisms that will never exist. Cast out far into a sea of conventional thinking and archaic understandings of the world.
In many ways I feel isolated. Sometimes it feels like we are fighting to change the minds, hearts, and systems of people and traditions that have already fossilized, turned to stone and nothing anyone does or says will change that.
Five students from the Bronx assured me, I was not alone. During the myPLACE summer exchange, at the CENTER, taught me many things in one week; but, no other was as important as realizing this - the basis of all change starts in coming together. Spaces and programs that offer space and time for like-minded or ideologically-opposed people to come together, are necessary to building the relationships that ignite ideas, opinions and thoughts, leading towards change. Imagine if W.E.B Dubois and Mary White Ovington never met. Imagine if Canada also had segregated hotels and the Erie Beach Hotel would have denied DuBois and his collaborators. If these meetings and spaces had never been created, the Civil Rights Movement might have never existed, maybe neither would the NAACP or much of what we know today.
Comparing our exchange with the Niagara Movement and likes of DuBois, may be a bit of a dramatization. However, our week together gave birth to the “In the Words of” series featured on the blog. We have for the first time guest writers and contributors who each offer how their experiences of the myPlace summer exchange program helped inform their direct action projects back in the Bronx.
Check out their stories, "In the Words of."