The great Dr. Vincent Harding, whose words and moral presence has inspired me and my colleagues at IDEA for years, has never been more powerful here. Speaking at the Children’s Defense Fund Annual Convention in Cincinnati, OH in July 2012, at a town hall on national and racial healing, Dr. Harding proclaims a vision for activism, and of world that is emmanent, that calls out to me at a nearly bodily level. He asks us to believe into being that which does not yet exist.
As activists in education, when the obstacles to real reform and profound, sustained transformation sometimes seem impossibly great, Dr. Harding’s message increasingly informs me, at a deep, soul level.
We are all citizens of a country that does not yet exist. “A just country, a compassionate country, a forgiving country, a multi-racial country, a joyful country that cares about its children and about its elders. That cares about what the earth needs. I am you are a citizen of a country that does not yet exist, and that badly needs to exist.”
The necessity of keeping on with the work, and proclaiming what is at the moral center of the work–both in action and in end–feels more and more like the project I am behind. “After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future world depends.” (Wallace Stevens).
How are we standing up together, and proclaiming the world that does not yet exist, in our work as educational activists? Can we join together to do so?