I am a retired teacher and moved to Greensboro about 3 years ago. I received my B.A.S from University of Minnesota-Duluth in Communication Disorders and an M.A. from Gallaudet University in Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Most of my life I lived and worked in Minneapolis MN; however, some of my best friends live here in Greensboro and I have been visiting NC for the last 25 years. I have been involved in various social justice movements and projects most of my life. I became aware of the Greensboro Massacre during the Truth and Reconciliation Process in 2004. I was impressed and amazed to hear of a community doing this kind of introspection and seeking healing in such a creative way.
In the summer of 2017 after the white supremacist murder in Charlottesville, a group of concerned citizens went to the City Council to draw parallels between Charlottesville and the Greensboro Massacre. I became aware that the officials from the city of Greensboro did not really value the TRC work and that many of the recommendations had not been implemented more than 10 years later. As a teacher, the recommendation that stuck out for me was the need for students in the schools to learn about the Greensboro Massacre and the TRC. In January 2017 a group of educators, organizers and survivors began meeting to look at the challenges and opportunities of this kind of project. The group has changed over time based on need and eventually became the Greensboro Historical Teaching Alliance. There were many people who have helped us along the way in many different capacities: including videotaping, editing, advising, and consulting.
What motivates me is that I believe Greensboro is a special community with people who are working for justice every day. The Greensboro Massacre was a terrible event that split and divided the community but this is the only place in the world where an independent Truth and Reconciliation process has ever been done. This is a model for how to deal with conflict. In this time of constant conflict, we have all of these resources here in Greensboro and the students of Greensboro need to know what they have right here in their own community and should have the opportunity to learn about it.