A soldier once told me that all people bleed the same blood. I have never forgotten this statement and the earnestness with which he expressed it. We all are one people...far removed from one another but we all are brothers and sisters.
I created I Speak Not For Myself with that soldier’s sentiment in mind. I am invested in exploring how we are all connected, how we respond to violence, and how that response defines humanity.
When I first heard of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani youth activist shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, I instantly drew connections to my students at Wilkinsburg High School, statistically the most violent high school in Pennsylvania. My students are the same age as Malala. My students and Malala may live thousands of miles apart and hail from different cultures but there are parallels to be drawn from their experiences. How these children choose to face violence speaks to the future of our society.