Many tragedies have marked the past two weeks. We all continue with day to day life, yet it can seem hollow in the midst of the hurt and confusion. Sometimes it feels that the world is crumbling around us.
“Then I learned of the attack in France which killed more than 80 people. I am French. My family and I are traveling to Nice in three weeks.”
Last week I felt indignation and sadness after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile lost their lives in encounters with police. What would it feel like to see the man I love being shot in front of me as he reached for his drivers’ license? How could I teach my daughter that police risk their lives daily to protect us? Then five Dallas police officers were murdered, and on Sunday two were killed in Baton Rouge.
Then I learned of the attack in France which killed more than 80 people. I am French. My family and I are traveling to Nice in three weeks to visit family. So much anger and lack of understanding. Such a temptation to respond with violence or exclusion of ‘the other.’ Yet I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence… Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Our community draws richness and strength from its diversity.
At EWI, respect for each other’s experience and points of view are fundamental to who we are as a community. The opportunities we foster for everyone to learn from each other are at the core of our programs. Trainers, mentors, staff and volunteers grow through their interaction with students, alumni, and each other. It is fundamental in building a culture of trust where each student can grow more confident in her knowledge and in her dreams, and ultimately be empowered. In these times of grief, of unfathomable violence, let us stay vigilant and be outspoken about injustice. And let us stay open and sensitive to other people’s experiences, and continually learn from each other.
Love can be the only response. Together we are stronger.
Chief Empowerment Officer
Empowered Women International