Voyager November 2021

November 15, 2021

Rebecca Solnit

To be hopeful means to be uncertain about the future, to be tender toward possibilities, to be dedicated to change all the way down to the bottom of your heart.

Dear Friends,

There is no question the last two years have been incredibly challenging, full of tragedy, unrest, and division. It can be easy to feel discouraged and disheartened. And, when you are up to the work of transforming one of America’s most entrenched systems, the enormity of the task itself can overwhelm anyone. Knowing all of this, I want to share with you what fills me with a sense of possibility about the future. 

My days at Education Reimagined are full of conversations with courageous inventors and bold visionaries. Daily, I have the privilege of connecting with and learning from those creating something that wasn’t there before; those inventing without a blueprint but, instead, with a vision; those taking the first step, despite the obstacles in the way; and those finding and building community and belonging where before there was isolation. 

These are people who are living into the possibility that together, we can bring forth a brighter, more loving, more equitable future for our children, our families, and our communities. 

What fills me with optimism about our future is each one of you.

And, while I get to talk with so many learner-centered leaders, I know that I’m in a unique position. This work of inventing, creating, and generating can too often leave you feeling alone and exhausted—wondering if you are the only one out there. 

Let me tell you, you are not. 

To bring into view again the incredible, growing movement you are a part of, I want to share a few of the incredible conversations I’ve had with leaders in just the past few weeks.

I spoke with Big Picture Learning’s Elliot Washor and Straight Up Impact’s Pam Roy who are enabling young people to discover and pursue their interests in real-world settings with the support of mentors, co-navigators, and connectors with a new platform called B-UnBound. I heard from our Critical Friends Workshop about Emily Samuel, who is setting out to invent a learner-centered ecosystem in New Hampshire—recognizing the untapped potential of her community’s assets to support youth in creating unique, relevant, and connected learning journeys. 

And, I reconnected with Annie Holmes, Chief Equity Officer at CCSSO, who began brainstorming on the spot all of the potential opportunities to kickstart a learner-centered ecosystem in her own neighborhood, including seeing the possibility of converting the largely abandoned mall to a learning hub. 

I hope this gives you at least a taste of the leadership, tenacity, and inventiveness I get to experience every day and re-energizes you with the incredible partners and allies you have in this work. 

We are in this together, united in our commitment that each and every child is supported to discover who they are, their gifts, and how to contribute those gifts meaningfully to the world. And, there is no group of people I’d rather be up to this work with. Thank you. 

Warmly, 

Kelly

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