Letter from Chuck: Today’s Events at the Capitol Building

January 6, 2021

Dear Creative Minds Community:

Today we witnessed an insurrection—an attack on our democracy.

After watching armed and unpeaceful protesters, who were emboldened by hate, lawlessly occupy the Capitol Building, I am thinking about white privilege. Many people of color have been assaulted or killed for far lesser infractions, or for no infraction at all. In the last year and throughout history, peaceful protesters advocating for racial justice have been tear-gassed, sprayed with rubber bullets, and assaulted and killed too. This stark contrast breaks my heart.

Despite today’s unrest, and the turmoil of a very challenging year, I have confidence in our system of democracy. I’m hopeful that our country will heal its divides and embrace civil discourse, even in disagreement. Today Rev. Raphael Warnock was elected to the United States Senate from Georgia. The first Black senator from that state, Rev. Warnock spoke about his victory by reflecting on his mother’s life: “The 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator.”

Rev. Warnock is a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called for unity and peaceful protest. This afternoon, President-Elect Joe Biden called for peace and unity, too, in a stirring speech to the American public. I believe that our democracy is alive and that the petty, hateful clamor of bullies will be silenced by our better voices—that these better voices will rise together in a chorus of hope and solidarity.

The uncertainty of this moment and the images we’re seeing in the media may feel scary, especially for children. If you are in Washington, DC, please heed this evening’s 6:00 curfew. Please stay safe and continue to care for one another. We will be addressing today’s events with students and remaining alert to their social-emotional states, ready to support them.

If you’d like to contact our counselors or school social worker to request support for your child, please email Brooke Shafer (brooke.shafer@creativemindspcs.org), Tara LaCroix (tara.lacroix@creativemindspcs.org), or Miriam Kahn (miriam.kahn@creativemindspcs.org).

Ms. Brooke, Ms. Tara, and Ms. Miriam also recommend these organizations for the support they offer families:

ChAMPS Local Crisis Line
Ages 6–17
(202) 481-1440

DC Health Access HelpLine for Adults
1 (888) 793-4357

National Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255

At the end of this long day, being a part of our community gives me faith and solace; I am so glad that you’re here with me. Tonight, members of congress are returning to work, where most will fulfill their duty of counting Electoral College votes. Our duty at Creative Minds is preparing students to embody the qualities that will make them informed, honorable citizens who are ready to do good in the world.

Together we will continue doing our own good—we might even call it “good trouble”—as we make a positive difference for our students.

Be safe, take care of your community, and keep the faith,

Chuck Jackson
Executive Director