Get on the Good Foot- Happy Birthday Dr. King

Looking for a way to be involved, the kids and I will be heading down to Salem for the Stand For Children Rally at the state capitol.   The event is NEXT MONTH and a great way to involve kids in something which has a direct result in their lives and the community around them.  With the onset of a couple head colds this isn’t sounding like the most responsible plan for today.  Stand for Children is an amazing grass roots organization and we’re planning on being more involved with them in the future.   Here’s a blip from their vision statement…

Stand for Children exists because children in communities across America do not have the power to influence our democratic system to meet their fundamental needs. We seek to make children and their needs a higher political priority.

We envision a society where all children receive the education and community supports that will enable them to live successful, fulfilling lives, and where parents and other concerned citizens are engaged and vigilant in ensuring that elected officials make decisions in the best interest of children and families.

One of their main goals in Oregon is to advance tax reform and defeat dangerous ballot measures.  Last year the organization was key in defeating the wacked out measures  56 , 57 , 58, 59, 60 generated by Kevin Mannix and corrupt “political” hack Bill Sizemore.

For today though, the peeps and I will be armchair activists- So far we’ve watched “Mighty Times: The Children’s March” by Hudson and Houston.  The film took an Oscar in 2005 for best documentary and is a stunning retelling of the student demonstrations which took place in Birmingham Al. in 1963 which paved the way for national desegregation. The Children’s March highlights a week of demonstrations where over four thousand CHILDREN  were arrested with interviews and archival footage.  I’ve shown the film at a number of children’s film festival programs and I still can’t get through it without getting weepy.  It is absolutely chilling to see images of four and five year olds behind bars.  One woman interviewed was arrested when she was nine was asked, “Weren’t you scared you were going to get hurt?” She said, “as a black child born in Alabama, there was no way I wasn’t going to get hurt”.  It was the first time my daughter, who is five had seen it and of course she had a lot of questions.   I have fantastic  teacher’s guide which came with the film, which has helped us explore the material further and look at ways at ways our lives are affected today.  Childrens March comes from Teaching Tolerance an educational resource project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Teaching Tolerance website is a wonderful resource with lots of great activities for families and in the classroom.  The films they produce come with educator resources and they also have an outstanding newsletter.  The activities are broken up into appropriate grade levels and  materials for teachers including films and books  are free.

Wanting to do something meaningful today, but stuck indoors, each of us is planning to write a thank you note to a volunteer whom we admire.  Lucy has made a birthday card for Dr. King, she said, “even though he’s not here anymore, I think he got his wish”.  I’m sending a letter to my father-in-law who is an elections observer and helps seniors and native Spanish speakers with their taxes.  My son is sending a note to his Grandpa who is a community organizer extraordinaire for environmental and political causes in Northern Colorado, and was a motivated general handy man in New Orleans.

We’re also going to catch a couple great videos courtesy of youtube including MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech and kid made shorts from Media that Matters including Children of Birmingham

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