How do we move forward and unite?

Krista Chavez offers some solutions to promoting love and kindness

How do we move forward and unite?

This week has been difficult, not only on AU’s campus, but across our great nation. Black femmes are being wrongfully attacked on our campus by students, Black Americans are being shot and killed on camera and protests are breaking out into violence from the east to the west.

My heart is broken. Watching the country I love fall apart in front of my face is so disheartening and watching people wrongfully assault others for no reason leaves me appalled.

As a nation, we are at a turning point. It is our duty as educated Americans to remain strong and resilient. We cannot stay silent, but we cannot allow ourselves to become so emotional that we overlook reality and both sides of all these issues.

In order to keep our hearts and minds whole during this time, I offer the following recommendations to the AU community that is currently struggling.

Talk with those who support you. Nothing calms me down more than just sitting down with my best friend and talking about all my frustrations. If you experience similar feelings, I recommend finding a trusted friend, calling a parent, speaking with a professor or consulting one of AU’s incredible mental health and counseling service professionals.

Go for a walk. If you are watching the news or reading an article and becoming overwhelmed, take a walk around Tenleytown/Cathedral Heights/Glover Park or even take a Metro ride to the monuments. The area in which AU is located offers so much beauty and it can really help you mentally put things into perspective. I know it always helps me.

Do not stop watching. One of the most important lessons I learned from one of my mentors was this statement about adversity, “Always keep your eyes wide open. Don’t be afraid. We are witnessing history, and it is best we memorize it.” We have a duty to remember what really happened behind closed doors. Sometimes topics and issues can be skewed in the media. The way we communicate the truth is necessary for its survival. When times seem hard, we must  remember the truth.

I have faith that we can move forward with respect and love as a community. We may not always see eye to eye, but remembering the respect and love we have for each other as people will help us move forward.

Krista Chavez is a junior in the School of Public Affairs and a columnist for The Eagle.

If you or someone you know is seeking support during this time, the Counseling Center offers walk-in hours weekdays from 2 - 4 pm. Additionally, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion is a walk-in resource for all AU students.

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