As George Floyd lay dying on the pavement with the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin pressing into his neck, he uttered the words, "I can't breathe." These are the same words said by Eric Garner before he was also killed by police. The breath, a basic right upon birth, is violently stripped from Black folks daily, and as Black educators we watch and grieve for ourselves...but also for our students.
How do we hold space for the children in our classrooms who look to us for answers, when we are only full of questions?
It's important that we take a moment to actually grieve. To actually acknowledge that there is loss in this moment that we are living. To not pretend that everything is as it normally (whatever that means) would be. To take a moment and feel, within our bodies, within our hearts and our spirits, the pain, the hurt, the anger, whatever it is that comes with grief for you. Because the only way we can move past grief...the only way we can begin to heal ourselves is to go through it.
You can't go around grief
You can only go through it.
And trying to go around it
Trying to pretend as though we're fine
Only prolongs it.
And then it begins to show up in other ways. As Black educators, we don't have the luxury to take the risk of it showing up in inappropriate ways. In showing up in anger or frustration with our students. So it's important we take the time to process that grief. To feel that grief. So that we can help our students through any grief they are feeling.
So we breathe. We must breathe for those who can not. We must reconnect to the breath to remind ourselves that we are still here. To remind ourselves that we still matter. To remind ourselves that we can still make a difference. To prepare ourselves to hold space for the children in our classrooms.
BREATHE. A virtual space for Black educators to heal.
Each BREATHE event is comprised of three critical components: meditation, reflection and rest. Each of these components is designed to help you heal from the inside out. Our hope is that you will take these components and continue your healing for as long as you need.
Through meditation we connect to source. In stillness, we can hear what the universe is trying to say to us. We can remember that in our hearts lives all the truth and power that we need to heal.
Through reflection we take whatever comes up in meditation and put it down on the page. The simple act of writing down the truth of what we are feeling moves us closer to letting it go.
Through rest we let go. We remind ourselves that the universe we inhabit is not the same as the society in which we live. We dive deep into our hearts and rejuvenate and revive our spirits.
PAST BREATHE EVENTS
I've never meditated, am I going to be lost?
Of course not! This is for all Black educators who need a place where they can just breathe. A place to let go. A place to just be. To reconnect to source. To reconnect to your heart. To heal yourself.
What stuff do I need?
Everyone will need a comfortable place to sit, a clear floor space to lay down (yoga/exercise mat optional) and a journal for reflection. Other items you might want to have are 2-3 pillows and 1-2 blankets. You will also need access to a computer and a reliable internet connection, as this session will be hosted through Zoom.
I'm not Black, can I join?
All educators are in need of healing at this time, but we ask that you respect the sacred space being created here to serve the unique needs of Black educators. We invite you to consider joining Fortify, our self-care series for social justice educators.
Will this be recorded?
To honor the sacredness of the space, BREATHE events are not recorded.