Now is the time for us to speak out, join together and reclaim the promise of America. That starts by educating our students about the impact of the civil rights movement, acting collectively to achieve a renewal of the Voting Rights Act and redoubling our efforts to ensure all children grow up in safe communities with high-quality neighborhood public schools.
Excellent schools make sure their students have access to the world's most advanced knowledge, they strengthen key skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. But their main differentiator is that they also develop mindfulness, curiosity, courage, resilience and leadership.
There's more than enough evidence to show that educating girls is transformational not only to girls themselves but to everyone around them. With education, a girl will be better positioned over her lifetime to help herself and her family move out of poverty and avoid disease. That makes for stronger women and more resilient families, communities, nations and the world.
I believe that if we make the effort to listen, we can hear our hearts guiding us. And if we think we can ignore its wisdom, we will lose our way. Eventually we have to face up to our past choices. But doing so gives us an opportunity to bring our love and compassion into the world by listening to our wise hearts.
Even as the study of children's response to trauma pointed to the need to focus on the socioemotional needs of students, the test-driven school reform movement drew a line in the sand; the mention of adverse childhood experiences was dismissed as an "excuse." Top-down school reformers imposed an educational version of faith healing on schools.