“All of our babies come into the world with a clean heart.” They know nothing about race or prejudice Ms. Bridges pointed out, as she relayed the moment when she realized the impact of racism. She described the memory vividly, sharing that a little white boy in her class would no longer play with her and couldn’t come to her house after school because his parents told him he couldn’t as she was black and he was white. We teach our children to embrace the cultures and ethnicities of one another, or we don’t. Our actions inform them of what we value about others, such as the depth of the person and the beauty of one’s skin color, or the opportunities presented by one’s status in society. Giving to one another changes how we feel about others and ourselves; it builds community.
The last two weeks in Milpitas Unified School District have been abundant with examples of giving:
- Nearly 500 volunteers including parents, students, staff, city officials, and community members participated in an Our City Forest tree planting, and Comcast and Milpitas Cares to beautify our school campuses;
- Companies such as Blach Construction, Republic Services, Alliance Roofing, and Delgado Electric have donated services and materials to our schools for these projects;
- Parents, school staff, police and fire officials have volunteered in our efforts to build community for our students and families through multicultural and carnival events; and
- The Santa Clara County Office of Education celebrated our Board’s and staff’s commitment to bi-literacy/bilingualism and the “My Name, My Identity” movement.
To echo Ms. Bridges: “Racism has no place in [our children’s] hearts, because the truth is, they will need each other just as we need each other today.” Yes, our students need each one of us, they need us to stand up for them, by uniting ourselves in an effort to evolve ever stronger as the glorious tapestry of culture that is MUSD.