• Dorothy Vaandering

Now, NOT Later (1)

Updated: Jun 16

"Now, NOT Later" - Blog Series (Part 1)

When I wrote What’s the Point? I knew I was living and complicit in a racist world, and I knew I was calling educators to rethink what they believed about humanity, so we could collectively work to rebuild our communities, the province, the country, the world. I had no idea we were entering into a week where we would forget about the risk of not having enough ventilators for those suffering from the corona virus pandemic and be consumed by the devastation of a pandemic of racialized choking.


But it is exactly for a time like this, that the At this Time blog entries were written, so we would not throw up our hands in despair, but have a foundation and framework from which we can work in contexts that we struggle to make sense of.

It was written so we could think and breathe. So that NOW, NOT LATER, we will live and contribute to a life of justice where we truly honour the worth and interconnectedness of all people, where we will not just react but respond .

Reading and contributing to facebook posts this past weekend, I noticed that a proliferation of articles and resource lists emerged that are intended to help us constructively be anti-racist as parents, educators, and community members. But, how will I ensure that these become my response, not my reaction, so that in two weeks from now, I have actually changed and grown in terms of figuring out how to live in my white, Euro-centric skin that is still so attached to colonizing roots, roots that tempt me amplify the racism in the US and ignore the horrible realities in Canada and the way our family, community, and the school system perpetuates these. Three key thoughts that reverberate for me on this Monday morning:

· The system is not broken, it was built this way. (Brene Brown)

· Every single racist thing you see in the States happens in Canada too. We just do it with a whisper. (Rohadi)

· What are white people willing to give up in a system that benefits and privileges us? (Vicki Mochama)

The Invitation: And so my challenge today is to use the restorative justice framework questions in a discussion with my partner, my neighbour, my child, my colleague. I move from thinking to sharing my thoughts and listening deeply to the ideas of others. We can explicitly practice this by putting the questions forward and taking turns answering:


· What is happening for you in terms of the George Floyd murder in the US?

· What are you thinking and feeling?

· What’s the hardest thing for you?

· What impact is this having on you? On those around you?

· What do you need right now?

· What can you do right now?

· What can we do together?



If we can do this, we will be learning how to critically reflect & discuss all kinds of challenging situations in responsive, rather than reactive ways. And maybe, we’ll begin to act.

Human lives are depending on this.


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