Today was the official start of the second section of the TOMODACHI program (trip to Japan). The first part of this program in D.C. was composed of a variety of visits from historical figures such as Mary Beth Tinker or trips to educational locations such as our visit to the African American History Museum, and workshops from people of varying careers who spoke about how the importance of storytelling plays a role in the formation of a better future.
Mary Beth Tinker spoke to us about the importance of youth speaking up and fighting for our rights. This was a very impactful presentation because in the past I thought that it would just be better to wait until I’m an adult to actively advocate for rights. But after the presentation I realized that even at my age every voice matters and can make a difference.
Visiting the Righting a Wrong exhibit at the American History Museum was very memorable to me because in school we don’t really learn about it so I was very surprised to learn so much about something that is virtually hidden in our school’s curriculum. Discussing what we saw at the museum and understanding how the other students felt from the Japanese perspective was very enlightening.
Now, we are heading to Japan and I think these lessons and the overbearing idea that we must fully understand the past or history of something before trying to understand what we are seeing before our very own eyes will help us realize that we must record what we experience and seize the moment by asking questions and trying to obtain a deeper understanding so that we can tell an accurate story when we come back. The world can benefit from what we learned on the trip. I think the ideas we bring back especially regarding the determination and optimism of the people living on the coast of Japan after the 3.11 earthquake can teach an important lesson to the people in our society about the strength of thinking in affirmations.
Banneker Academic HS