I recently gave a staff development for educators to a district in St Michael, Minnesota. To my surprise, the majority of the staff was homogeneous. It really did not influence the direction of my message, as I truly believe every school staff member can have a powerful impact on the life of a child. After, a teacher who had been contemplating retirement came and shared his experience.
This teacher had been feeling that he gave everything he could and was looking for a reason to continue. Throughout my presentation, he struggled with the constant image of a young African American boy who had been reaching out for help. Understanding how this young man needed an advocate, my message helped the teacher conclude that he could give to this student. He said that in the 30 years that he had been teaching, he never heard a message as influencing and powerful as what he just experienced, “I now have a reason to stay”. As the man left with tears in his eyes and flushed with a red face, I knew that my message does connect all color lines.