“Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well?… Just so’s you’re sure, sweetheart, and ready to be healed, cause wholeness is no trifling matter. A lot of weight when you’re well.”
― Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters

 

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My name is Lauren Anderson and I am an educator. I am based in an urban-school located in Kansas City, Missouri.  Recently, I graduated with my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to my intentional path of seeking out a holistic and feminist approach to education, I received my Bachelor’s in English Literature and Language. In going through my undergraduate-program, I found myself struggling to breathe and to find healing in my coursework. My program lacked the narratives of those that’s been marginalized and de-centered, especially women of color. In being saved by a couple of Black Studies’ courses during this tumultuous time, I found healing in hearing the words of Black men and women through: primary and secondary documents. These Black males and females became foundational for my current path of seeking wholeness and healing. I would read books by: Maya Angelou, bell hooks, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Octavia Butler, Sonia Sanchez, James Baldwin, Sandra Cisneros and etc. These beautiful ancestors keep me going and they’ve kept me going as I went through an undergraduate-program that upheld white-supremacy and patriarchy.

In seeing that my Blackness wasn’t apart of my undergraduate curriculum for my English department, I felt it was my duty to engage in work that would allow for Blackness and those of color to become centered, especially women. I knew that I wanted to occupy space. I wanted to know that my body, skin and hair can take up space. I want to teach my students that they can engage in this work too. In seeking to move from a space of invisibility and marginalization, I seek to live in a way that is liberating and holistic. In being a practitioner of visionary feminism, I feel it is important to construct new, decolonized images and spaces for various identities to emerge. We must find enough language to speak our narratives. We must have the will to love outside of patriarchal domination and commit to loving each other.

My work is not to merely distribute information, but to engage in a critical dialogue on the intersection of: race, class and gender. In being able to have these conversations, we can move towards a state of healing. We can move towards a state of truly loving and understanding.

If you are interested in contacting me, send me an email at:
laurenanderson@mail.umkc.edu

In the words of black feminist bell hooks in her book Teaching to Transgress, “To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin”

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