When you are constantly labeled as the other, then education becomes one way to transform the situation.
Believe me, it’s exhausting being part of a community that is always having to educate about who we are. Time, however, has revealed that it is alarmingly necessary.
A new exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum is challenging stereotypes and confronting hate. The cartoonist Vishavjit Singh chose to read aloud A Lion’s Mane as part of the opening which, given the context, must have been quite awe-inspiring for Little Ones. He went on to share our book with numerous schools in the region. A diverse superhero reading a story that mirrors his experience? How often does that work out?
Wham! Bam! Pow! Indeed!
Vishavjit began cartooning after 9/11, making observers take note about political and social issues through SikhToons. Fiona Aboud, a photographer, suggested he transform into the diverse superhero he created in his cartoons. After the 2012 Oak Creek shooting when a white supremacist killed 6 members of a Wisconsin Sikh congregation, Vishavjit agreed he had to do something more. He became his own version of Captain America.
(Image Credit: Thind Family. Used with permission).
If you are making plans for places to visit this summer, consider visiting the exhibit which is on view until February 24th, 2019.
For those of you who may be interested in representing the Sikh identity in your classrooms (i.e. using available resources to share the work of educating for social justice) then please do check out these amazing lesson plans over on the Teaching Tolerance site. You can use any of our titles as mentor texts to scaffold deeper conversations. The lesson plans will help go beyond the text. We can all be #warriorsofchange