Where are my people at?

Single rose petal

I used to participate in Twitter chats often. My favourites were #whatisschool & #edchat, a few others too but those mainly. They weren’t really my favourite so much as that they happened at the right time.

When I used to be go on these chats, most people are generally friendly & kind. I am still friends with a few of them. But I always asked myself:

“Where are my people at?”

Then one day I saw someone had retweeted something from Ilana Horn about a twitter chat on race called #educolor. Needless to say, I booked it in my calendar and made sure I attended this chat. Because race. Wow, who talks about that in education on Twitter?

I joined #educolor that night. That night I found my people.

They understood what it’s like to need support as a person of colour.

They understood what it’s like to want to be heard.

They understood what it feels like to be on the outside looking in.

Cornelius’ tweet says it all.

After my first #educolor chat, I was inspired to write this post, shortly after I was invited to join the #educolor fam, and that has helped me to speak up and use my voice. You see, that’s been a struggle for me. But that’s changing slowly now.

#Educolor is the place to be when it’s happening. But it’s more than that. It’s a movement, and it gives educators if colour a sense of belonging to a place in the digital world. It’s a safe space to resort to when things get tough. But it’s also a space to learn and raise awareness about racism and injustice.

The best part of #Educolor?

It’s about truth. Hard truths that many choose to dismiss and ignore and sometimes pretend that they don’t exist.

I am writing this now because no matter how little one thinks their impact is in this world, that small bit makes a big difference. And if it makes a difference even to one person, then you made all the difference.

5 thoughts on “Where are my people at?

  1. One reason I love Twitter…it’s public. You don’t need to be invited to a conversation to follow or join in. For someone like me who might not be able to relate or understand “what it’s like”, we may not have anything to contribute, but we can follow along and learn a bit. Maybe never truly knowing what it’s like – but understanding maybe just a bit more. Thank you for being willing to share…as it benefits so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rusul, Thank you for this truth telling post. More empathy is needed in all Twitter chats. Teachers need to be willing to discuss issues of race and class and sexual orientation and gender and we need to learn to do so humbly. We need leaders like yourself and others in the #educolor community so that we can bring the conversations into Twitter chats in ways that promote teachers to educate ourselves on the important issues in the lives of students. Teachers who learn the truth underlying forms of oppression will be better able to advocate for our students and our schools. You and #educolor are beacons of light.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rusul, you have that knack for saying the thing that was on my mind but had not yet found the words or the nerve to say. #educolor has become a go-to space for me, too. Although I can’t join the live chat due to the time difference, I live for the storify on the morning after. Just knowing that there is a networked community of educators to whom I can turn for support, deeper learning and who share some common features of social identity and who live their intersectionality consciously gives my Involvement on twitter a whole new depth and richness. Also #educolor has become that movement which has emboldened me to question more, to raise thorny issues and seek out a variety of perspectives. We don’t all always agree and that is a piece of the puzzle that I deeply value in my engagement here. Thank you again for giving voice to what matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fear is what holds people back from participating in #educolor. Fear from saying the wrong thing, fear of being attacked for their views, fear of being called out as a racist or bigot, fear that raising awareness will label you. The problem with fear is that if you let it drive your decisions you will never be able to grow as a person. #educolor is a needed avenue for voices to speak out against injustice and inequity in education.

    Like

  5. Rusul,
    I just came to know about #educator at the start if this school year, and the community there has helped me find the voice I knew was there, but could not express. I am so grateful to all of you who are sharing your stories there and on other forms of media. It helps me to know I am not alone. Thank you for your advocacy and leadership. You are appreciated and admired more than you know! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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