Re: A meeting on diversity in svs-model schools
Thu, 5 Sep 1996 00:12:01 -0400

In a message dated 96-09-04 07:35:41 EDT, Kirsten wrote:

What did I mean by building bridges out of commonalities and
differences? On our last day at the conference, I got up at 6:45 after
5 hours of sleep to go put food out on the collective table. For me, at
that moment it was an extra effort. In fact there were several moments
that required extra effort, there were people all around us with whom we
had historically stood on very different (sometimes conflicting) ground.
That morning, as with other times that streched me, it was important not
only to be on time, but to be early--to make the extra effort to
establish a committment to build a relationship to one another. It isn't
the food or the job help or any prescription in particular; it is being
there and making the effort to form a relationship where there was none
or there was very little. What does it mean to be there? For me, right
now, it means taking the time to look closely at what relationships
exist in my own personal life and the things I am involved with (the
school group especially) and asking: Are there ways that we could lay
the groundwork to welcome others who cannot feel welcome now? I hope
now and in the future we will take the time and effort necessary to
examine and re-examine our answer to that question. -Kirsten

Kirsten. I noticed. I appreciated. It made a difference, and not just in
having the food out a little faster and a little nicer! It made a difference
in knowing that you were part of the group in a very real way. It puts past,
present and future conflicts in a very different light.