The Maplewood Parent Support Team hosted The Beloved Community on January 26 in the school cafeteria. The evening was focused on educating parents, families, and community members on legislation that could impact our communities and our schools. Additionally, we focused on empowerment and communication, and our school’s commitment to increasing dialogue between all members of our diverse community, and creating safe spaces that foster authentic, respectful, and courageous conversations.
There were speakers from Equality Texas, The Austin Justice Coalition, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and immigration attorney and Maplewood parent Hannah Silk Kapasi. Representatives from Texas Appleseed and Black Lives Matter were also in attendance. The panel was moderated by Jared Lindauer, a volunteer with the Anti Defamation League and Maplewood parent. There was translation provided by teachers in the school’s dual language program and other volunteers. The event wrapped up with a demonstration by the No Place For Hate student committee.
The idea behind The Beloved Community was a concept popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, who believed that people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence could attain the ultimate goal of “genuine intergroup and interpersonal living — integration.” In this Beloved Community; homelessness, poverty, and hunger are not tolerated and racism, discrimination, and prejudice against others are replaced with an understanding that we are all connected to one and other.
Event organizer Camille Smith said “I was so grateful for the support of the PTA presidents and the parent volunteers who helped make this happen, especially Jared Lindauer who took on the role of moderator that my stage fright would not allow me to do. I’m also grateful for our highly knowledgeable presenters and speakers, but most of all to the parents and Community members who came out to participate in this important event. I’m excited to keep the momentum going and continue my efforts to create awareness and encourage communication in our diverse community.”
In the Beloved Community, love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.