The Future is Fertile

When I picked up my nine year-old son from his school day camp this summer, I could tell he was sad. His eyes were full of tears that did not spill over until we were in the car. He told me what happened… a kid at camp said something racist to him, a slur that he hadn’t heard before but that he immediately felt the sting of. He was angry and shocked, and a little bit surprised too. One moment you’re an individual, a kid, a camper, a friend—and in the next — wham!— you are an Other, an Outsider.

What was said to my son has been said to me in the past, and probably to my parents and quite possibly to even my grandparents, who arrived in the country almost 120 years ago. The slur, designed to mock East Asians, first appeared in children’s book in 1886. It is hard to face the ways that racism continues from generation to generation, in our institutions but also on our playgrounds.

All of this has me thinking about the ways that cultural change happens—as well as the conditions that stop our growth, stunt our imaginations and prevent our evolution. 

This is where the work of the arts comes in. To make change, we have to be able to imagine epic possibilities. 

It’s through creative work that we can find each other— exploring the complex experiences that we share and growing empathy for the ones we don’t. Creativity is all about problem solving, tangling with ideas to create new, rich and fertile futures. Creativity is resistance too, transforming us from passive consumers of ideas and things to active makers. 

When we create, we look forward, not backwards… When we are able to make our ideas come alive, we’re empowered in ways that are unstoppable. 

I support Hero Nation because it brings the community together by celebrating creativity and imagination, and by lifting the voices and visions of BIPOC and LGTBQ+ creators. 
Won’t you join me?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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