Kimya Dawson is a parent, musician, and activist. Heres her kid Panda on the right, being a goofball with her friends Eli and Gabe.
Kimya Dawson is a parent, musician, and activist. "That's my kid Panda on the right, with her friends Eli and Gabe, being goofballs." Courtesy of Kimya Dawson

What our kids are learning right now about fighting for what's right, integrity, social justice, sharing, community, and solidarity is infinitely more important than the Common Core and increasingly impossible to accommodate (without eliminating art, music, p.e., and recess) "teach to the test" bullshit curriculum educators have their hands tied with.

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It's revolutionary.

I will support this strike for as long or as little as it takes. Apparently a tentative agreement has been reached this morning. So the strike may end today or it might not. The community has been coming together in amazing ways. And will stand with the educators in the classroom or on the line.

I hope the massive show of support inspires demands for public education reform far and wide. I hope the conversations keep on and folks continue to get to know their neighbors. To fight the disparities, we need to be united and keep sharing stories.

You know what scares me?

Raising a nation of children who have no time to play and who are divided, who are told to sit in a chair all day long and do what they are told, who are made to feel like they only have any worth if they can prove on (a very specific piece of) paper that they excel at multiple subjects with no wiggle room to recognize the value of creativity and individuality and the millions of badass ways that humans can be exceptional.

You know what scares oppressors?

A unified society that sees the oppression and says NO MORE. They will try to be divisive and break people apart because a society that is unified is a strong society. And a strong society will make demands. And a strong society plants the seed that change is possible if we rise up.

What better lessons can the children learn?

We will fight for you. We will rise up against oppression. We will rise up against inequality. We will rise up against your cool beautiful unique spirits being squashed so they can turn you into another passive cog in their corrupt corporate machine that turns a blind eye as kids are piped from schools into prisons. You are important. We love you for you. We don't have to take it.

Rise up, babies. RISE UP.

Together we can change the world.

Thank you to Seattle's educators for teaching these crucially important lessons right now. I have your back. I will feed you. I will hold you up. I will rub your aching feet. We will figure out ways to make sure the children are cared for.

They will buy up news time and space and try to make it seem like you are an inconvenience and the parents and the community "had enough of your selfish striking." It's not true. In 48 hours, between the benefit concert at The Neptune and the online donation site, we have collected over $11,000 towards the Seattle Education Association's Strike Fund to help educators having a hard time making ends meet right now. We will keep fundraising. Local artists came out in droves asking to be a part of the show. Businesses are donating food, supplies, and venues. STG enthusiastically donated the Neptune on Sunday and paid the staff overtime to come in on their day off. Donations and notes of solidarity are coming in from around the globe. Seattle Parks has expanded its capacity for free childcare.

They are saying and publicizing that an agreement has been reached when the board hasn't voted yet. Please don't be concerned that if you vote against the agreement we will be disappointed in you.

We are with you. We've got you.

Whatever it takes.

If you vote to hold the line we will help you hold the line.

Just do me this solid Seattle:

Whatever agreement is reached please let's keep fighting until our kiddos, ALL OF OUR KIDDOS, have the schools and the opportunities to receive the educations that they truly deserve.

Sincerely,

Support The Stranger

Kimya Dawson
Parent, Musician, Activist

My grandparents graduating from Howard University. My grandma was a public school teacher in Newark , NJ . She would bring students from struggling families home and feed them dinner.
"My grandparents graduating from Howard University. My grandma was a public school teacher in Newark , NJ . She would bring students from struggling families home and feed them dinner." Courtesy of Kimya Dawson

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