This was a heck of a day two weeks ago; celebrating diversity, inclusivity and unity in Burbank, California, and YES, I do, I do indeed, feel so lucky that I got to share the stage with this fine actor, and a wonderful guy, Jim Parsons (aka. Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory) for #MuirUnited.
I can't believe the program that Greg Miller, the school's amazing principal put on, with the help of so many extraordinary teachers and parent volunteers at Muir- including my brother Mr. D!
Muir Middle was saying to every single one of those kids:
"I've got your back"
I honestly felt like I was at a TED conference!
Incredible performances included: the LA Gay Men's Choir who brought tears to my eyes with their rendition of Radiohead's Creep, as well as the touching personal stories many of the choir members shared about coming out.
Survivors of the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide spoke to the kids and gave historical context, and the need to stay aware, as well as the founder of the Muslim Women’s Speakers Movement.
I was also in tears as I got to take a workshop in an (ESL) English As a Second Language class with Armenian Poet,
Shahe Mankerian, who read a poem about his struggle being a young immigrant in America.
Many of the kids were recent arrivals to our country from Syria, Mexico, Armenia, and the Ukraine.
All of the kids could relate.
Executive Producer and writer of Fresh Off The Boat, Kourtney Kang shared her experience as a writer in hollywood and gave an awesome writer's room workshop about the importance of sharing one's own authentic cultural experience-
AAAND she was sooooo kind to sit In My Chair for an interview at the end of the day!
Regardless of what we think about the current political climate, there is one thing I know- it has caused a much needed nudge for so many of us to #GetWoke and speak up about injustice - to no longer stay complacent. It's easier to think it's someone else's job.
It is forcing schools to have a dialogue about what used to be unspoken or impolite or off limits to discuss.
It's all messy, and ain't ever going to be perfect, or feel comfortable
But thanks to days like #MuirUnited- it's getting DONE.
BIG SHOUT OUT to my big brother Ted for all