A New Normal
Twenty years ago this week,
tragedy struck at
Columbine High School.
In the two decades
that have passed,
our schools have changed.
active shooter drills...
these are all part of the
landscape of education.
with their teachers
in corners of their classrooms
with the doors locked
and the lights turned out.
Is this our new normal?
Is this the only way to protect our children?
What laws have we CHANGED since Columbine?
What laws have we CHANGED since Sandy Hook?
What laws have we CHANGED since Parkland?
On the national level,
the House passed the
Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.
but maybe not really bipartisan.
Only eight republican legislators voted for it.
And the news coverage talks
about them "changing sides" to vote.
Aren't we all on the same side?
It's expected to either fail in the Senate
or be vetoed by the president.
Is this what we want as a nation?
How do we get our
to work TOGETHER
to create a
seem to be finding
finding common ground.
According to the Giffords Law Center,
67 gun safety bills
were enacted in 26 states in 2018.
A glimmer of hope.
But do we have to move at a snail's pace?
Remember New Zealand?
Here are two important dates...
Tragic Shooting at Mosques in Christchurch
New Zealand's parliament votes
Less than a month.
Action can happen.
Faster than we think possible.
New Zealand is trying to prevent a "new normal".
Can we reverse ours?
Only if our representatives realize
we are all on the same side.
Let's continue to use our
to show our elected officials
the path toward a
new and improved
Pause for Poetry
Did you know we're in the middle of National Poetry Month?
What poems inspire YOU to listen and to learn?
We could use a little "Hope" in our conversations with one another.
If "Hope" truly is "the thing with feathers"
as Emily Dickinson famously wrote,
let's help it take flight!
Share a little poetic inspiration with a friend this month!
Do you know "A Brave and Startling Truth" by Maya Angelou?
She wrote it for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations.
A Brave and Startling Truth
by, Maya Angelou
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms...
Click below to hear her reading the poem in its entirety...
Maya Angelou Reads "A Brave and Startling Truth"
at the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1995
Another of our beloved American poets,
passed away this year.
Here is one of her thoughtful poems,
inspired by nature...
During National Poetry Month,
let's remember to draw inspiration from our poets!
As we strive to find common ground,
We can keep hope alive...
We can learn a brave and startling truth...
We can take a lesson from the sea...
and keep working!
The 50-State Challenge!
Check out our latest action project...
THE 50-STATE CHALLENGE!
The Purple Living Room Project
was started by a group of
American expats living in Thailand.
In the wake of the US government shutdown,
we decided to challenge our community
to come together
and write a letter to Congress
asking for a legislative solution
to prevent government shutdowns in the future.
We drafted a letter with the goal of capturing
the "purple points" around the issue...
We shared this letter with our community
and began our first 50-State Challenge!
Our goal was to collect signatures
from voters in as many states
and as many legislative districts as possible.
We printed letters to send
to the Senators and Representatives connected
with each of the expats who signed....
We tracked down signatures
from each of the voters
(in purple ink!)
So, how did we do?
The results are in from our first 50-State Challenge...
Number of States Represented?
Number of Signatures?
Number of Letters Sent to Congress?
It was a great start...
and we can do better!
We plan to tackle
one issue at a time
and see if we can find
that will help
us gather signatures
Let's contact Congress
and let our representatives
know that we want them to
and create legislation
that will help us
move forward as a nation!
"Meet in the Middle"