By Annie Hatch, Life Academy Teacher
My fast this time around was harder than before. Maybe this is because I was on my own for much of it, without much distraction. Yet this gave me time to think once again about what it means to intentionally skip a meal. How different is that from not knowing where your next meal will come from (like 1 in 6 Americans)? I am blessed to consistently have food on the table, and to fast as a choice, not because I have to.
I thought a lot about my job during this fast -especially how lucky I am to be surrounded by young people who want to make the world a better place. Change often happens at the behest of young people who are less cynical, more optimistic, and often more willing to work and sacrifice for the change they want to see. As part of an activity today in Humanities (before my fast ended), I asked students if they would be willing to sacrifice everything in order to stop injustice. I was astounded by the number of students who said they would. Many explained that they would be willing to risk their own lives if it meant making the world a better place for the next generation. This deep commitment to doing what is right is why I love working with young people, especially the powerful agents of change at Life Academy.
Keep up the good work, change-makers!
By Adelina Tancioco, Youth Developer
Fasting for the first time wasn’t easy. At times I felt alone- alone in my hunger-alone in the cause. I wished others would approach me and ask about my arm band because I don’t like the feeling of imposing my ideals on others.
When the hunger pains began- all the things that usually matter to me didn’t. I didn’t care about what I needed to do or places I needed to go. I just cared about the yearning feeling of hunger in my stomach. After some time, I no longer felt like talking or engaging with anyone or anything other than food and decided to go home.
At home I searched for a purpose. I tried to remember my cause. To bring awareness of the community violence that is a direct result of oppressive institutions and systems. This helped some but not enough to keep me going. I searched harder until the faces of my students who organized this campaign came to mind. I remembered their passion, and their determination to continue the fasting campaign and thought to myself, “If my students can do it- so can I.” Their resilience inspired me to keep going and motivated me to find a way to put my thoughts into action.
I remembered the online petition and allowed it to feed me. Every person I encouraged to sign the petition was food to my soul. This was my way of making my sacrifice known to the universe as a protest to the violence we experience everyday. I spent hours writing personalized messages to friends and family about the campaign and felt a sense of pride.
I am proud to belong to a community of organizers, a community of healers, a community who refuses to stand by silently as our youth are killed.
I finally understood what a BAM student had shared during the launching of the Season of Peace Building; “We are who we have been waiting for.”
Please comment on this post if you supported today’s faster or fasted in solidarity with our movement.
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