Connecting with Local Community: One Tiny Step

I am a white cisgender woman of privilege.

I am reminded of this every day when I leave my house to run errands in my town.

I live on the edge of one of the poorest communities in Virginia, surrounded by people of color who have no privilege at all. Their lives, their economies, were and still mostly are controlled by white people.

The county in which my town is located includes a segregation academy that, while it now claims to be racially diverse and posts pictures of mixed race groups of happy children on its website, did not finally admit African American students until 1984. Hmmm…the same year that Ralph Northam admits to putting on black face. This is not history. This is now.

I am beginning to find my niche in this community through work with the local 4H coordinator. It is nothing…a small drop…but for a few hours this past month, I was able to connect with some local kids over circuits and coding. I was able to provide some STEM-related fun and learning but the real opportunity was the it gave me a chance to listen to and share with them.

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