Who We Can Be
by Kathie England
Today, January 20, 2021 marks the first day of the new administration of President Joseph Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.
Today also marks the launch of my new 4-year project, Who We Can Be. As I mentioned last month in the final post of My 1000 Small Steps, this title was inspired by Krista Tippett’s On Being interview with Karen Murphy, Director of International Strategy at Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit educational and professional development organization.
In the fall of 2017 I purchased the pen and ink drawing titled HOPE from the artist Steve Nowatzki at Portland’s Art in The Pearl. Steve gave me permission to use this drawing. It has hung in my office to help give me hope during the last four dark years of our country. I decided it is the appropriate banner photo for my new project, Who We Can Be.
As scenes from the failed insurrection in Washington, D.C. crossed our screens on January 6, many decried the violence we witnessed by saying, “This is not who we are!”
I believe we need to reframe that inaccurate perspective by stating, “This is not who we want to be.”
One does not have to be a history scholar to realize the violence we witnessed on January 6 is a sad representation of too much of our history. I invite you to listen to the interview with Sam Sanders on NPR’s Morning Edition on January 10, 2021. His piece is titled “The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Race.” Sanders is the host of the NPR podcast It’s Been a Minute With Sam Sanders. https://www.npr.org/2021/01/10/955392813/the-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-race
Over the next four years I hope each reader of this post will engage with me in exploring Who We Can Be – for yourself, for our country, and for our planet.