Juneteenth & the June Issue

How’s your neck today? Me, I’m feeling the whiplash. As editor of The International Educator newspaper, it’s my job to stay abreast of events that impact our sector so I can help to keep all of you informed in turn. Hence the neck problem.

I’ve got to be honest: in the midst of the massive upheaval that has surged at the juncture of COVID-19 and the brutal legacy of 1619, my best efforts will necessarily fall short. There is simply too much of import to report, and it’s all happening so fast.

TIE was never in the business of covering breaking news. Since its inception almost 35 years ago, our quarterly publication has changed little in format over the decades. Sure, we adopted a supplemental June issue and have developed a dynamic online platform to complement our print edition, but even through these changes we have maintained an unharried pace, publishing your stories at a sort of reflective remove from the present moment.

As educators, I think we can all agree that there is a lot to be said for mellow reflection and careful deliberation. When crisis strikes, however, or in the throes of a global awakening over racial injustice such as the one we’re experiencing today, mellow and careful just don’t cut it.

Today, we all need to take immediate action, performing a probing and critical examination at the individual and collective levels to identify the ways in which systemic racism is baked into all of our institutions—TIE included—and devise a concrete plan for rooting it out. To be sure, this is work we should have been doing yesterday, just as it is work we will need to do again tomorrow. And the day after. And every day going forward, as we learn to make antiracism a daily practice in striving toward a just and equitable world.

Tricky as it is figuring out how to meet this monumental moment with the means at hand, I feel very fortunate to be able to place at your disposal our newspaper as a forum well-suited for fostering the deep reflective work so needed within our community. Let’s use this platform as a safe space in which to pursue a sustained conversation about how we get to authentic diversity, equity, and inclusion—a conversation I heartily invite you to join.

Back in March—or was it five years ago?—when planning the June edition of the newspaper, we decided to devote the entire issue to your wildly impressive and phenomenally resilient students, offering them the chance to tell the international school community what they’d learned and felt in the move to remote learning. They blew us away.

So when you’re back from the protest and have a quiet moment for reflection, please take the time to read these thoughtful and moving articles by tomorrow’s leaders.

Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

— Meadow

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