Inspired by theSkimm, longer than the E-announcements, created with your short attention span in mind. 

By Jaimee Hood

If you didn’t get a ring by spring…

It’s disappointing to make it through another May with no fiance to show. That is, until you remember you just reached another milestone on your life’s journey. Love and partnership are great, but there are plenty of things you can do besides plan a wedding this summer– besides, you can buy your own jewelry.

Advocate for justice instead. 

The Twin Cities are still in pain. On May 25, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, MN after allegedly using a counterfeit bill to pay for cigarettes. The incident sparked protests across the country as Floyd’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became the rallying cry of Black Americans who want the knee of those in power off their necks.

Even after the protests are over, there is much anti-racist work to be done, especially at primarily white institutions (PWI) like Bethel.

What is my role? Asking yourself a question like this is a great place to start. Poet, teaching artist and mental health educator Terisa Siagatonu shared this helpful graphic to Instagram last week with prompts to reflect on when thinking about your role in a social change ecosystem. To  add or learn about local resources, this Google document with information on how to support Minneapolis small businesses and resources for education and advocacy has also circulated social media within the past few weeks.

 

View this post on Instagram

I want to share this resource for anyone who’s been feeling intense moments of helplessness (🙋🏽‍♀️) amidst everything going on regarding #COVID19. When I posted this on my IG story last week, I felt a sense of relief come over me for the first time since everything began. I realized that how I’ve been responding to this crisis has been through trying to step into roles that I feel are commonly expected of me (frontline responder, guide, disruptor) rather than the roles I’m strongest at (storyteller, healer, caregiver, visionary). Many of us feel helpless because the terror of this moment is rightfully overwhelming. But I’m constantly reminded that this overwhelm and crisis can only end if we’re a strong, united front and if we’re aware of our strengths, gifts, and skills within our communities. Many of us come from elders and ancestors who have paved the way for us to exist in this fragile, resilient ecosystem together. We’re here, and we have what it takes to show up for one another and come out of this together. We have to believe that. Thank you Deepa Iyer from @buildingmovementproject for this resource. The last slide is one I created with reflections I’ve had within myself, that I thought could be helpful for anyone who needs it. How we are with one another determines everything. That’s the entire point of an ecosystem. Of a community. And I believe the point of community is love. And our audacity to meet the moment together, ready to fight for all who we love that depends on our connectedness to win. We can do this. #COVID19 #coronavirus #ShelterInPlace

A post shared by Terisa Siagatonu (@terisasiagatonu) on

 

 

President Jay Barnes and President-elect Ross Allen sent a joint email to the Bethel community May 28 “condemning racial and judicial injustice in all its forms,” adding that “we are committed to ensuring that Bethel will be a community that works for justice, peace and unity among all people.” Pastor Laurel Bunker led a virtual service of lament June 2 “to honor the life of George Floyd and to lament as a community, to come alongside brothers and sisters to grieve and cry out for change and justice.”

But it’s not just the leaders who need to make a change.  Non-Black students at PWI are responsible for holding their peers accountable for racist behavior and remarks, even when it’s uncomfortable. Columbia University student Alexis Tyndall created this graphic entitled “How to be a white ally at a PWI” including tips for the classroom setting, invasion of black spaces, holding the administration accountable and becoming aware of common microaggressions.

Keep watching. Keep learning. Keep showing up. Your social media feeds last week were likely full of pictures, videos, black squares and long captions about protests, Floyd, Black Lives Matter and arguments with relatives on Facebook. As it has often been pointed out, the work of anti-racism is a marathon, not a sprint. Take some time to rest, process and educate yourself. Then keep going.

Into the woods.

On May 29, Bethel announced it was in the process of selling six acres of the 42-acre Anderson Center property to New Perspective for a senior living complex, and 3.7 acres to Lake Johanna Fire Department for a new fire station. Both new constructions have Bethel connections, creating potential for strategic learning partnerships with students in coming years. The university and buyers have been in negotiations for some time but are still working out specifics of the agreement.

We’ll be here alllll summer long. 

The Clarion usually takes a summer break, but this year is a little different. Each week we’ll be posting multimedia content on our website and Instagram to keep you connected to the Bethel community.

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