Social justice and democracy in America

A head-and-shoulders photo of Superintendent Adams

Many of us watched the events that unfolded in our nation’s capital on Wednesday afternoon with shock, anger, sadness and even disappointment. While there were those who felt that the actions of storming the U.S. Capitol were justified, we have to look at the impact these events have had and will have on our nation and on our democracy. 

As educators, we have a responsibility to seek out the teachable moments and ensure that these moments are contextualized in ways that connect to the experiences of our students and families.
As New York Senator Charles Schumer said later Wednesday evening, when the violence receded and Congress reconvened to finish its constitutional responsibility of certifying Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, it was a day that will live in infamy.
With these unconscionable acts etched in our memories, we move forward in hope that Jan. 6, 2021, also will be remembered as the day that our painfully divided nation saw why we strive to educate our students about respect for each other, civic responsibilities and the importance of equity and social justice in our everyday lives.
We must ensure that, moving forward, our actions represent the America, the democracy, in which we believe and in which we want to live.
We also move forward remembering that Wednesday was a day of historical significance. It was the day that Georgia, a state with a long and troubled history of intolerance and division, sent its first African-American representative and its first Jewish representative to the United States Senate.
A truly historic and symbolic moment for all Georgians, and for all Americans.
As American citizens, we must aspire to be the positive change and models of democracy we want to see in this world. These are the lessons we must strive to teach, in spite of the deep and often complex ideologies that too often and too easily divide us.
We are a nation that must – and will – continue to move beyond our troubled history toward a more inclusive, welcoming tomorrow.
We must work together to make this the true legacy of real democracy. This must be the inheritance that we strive to leave our children – a nation of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
Together, we are all in for Albany.

Kaweeda G. Adams