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August 14, 2020

7/7/2020 9:41:00 AM
A different 4th of July
COVID-19 has affected many aspects of life. It has caused heartbreak, financial burdens for millions across the world and it has taken away milestones for students across the globe.
However it hasn't taken away one American tradition: the 4th of July.
It is the holiday that recognizes our American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and more.
However we have to think differently about what freedom may mean during the time of a pandemic. We've had a lot thrown at us in the last few months: Businesses and services shutting down in a snap, high school seniors having to graduate differently and many lives lost.
It is also a time, where unfortunately millions have been awoken to systemic racism. When we saw the tragic death of George Floyd over a month ago, it was a huge awakening to me that we still have a long way to go. Our nation could be a lot further along than it is now. There are many systems in place that need to be looked at, and redone.
Whatever steps need to be taken, what I want is for the outcome to be beneficial for all. It should have been beneficial for all since America's beginning. Independence and oppression do not go hand in hand.
My advice when it comes to going into the 4th of July weekend is this: be safe. While we are "free," there are many limits and restrictions right now in place to keep us safe. The work to freedom may take our entire lives, but in order to do that, we need to continue practice self care. My great Aunt Joen said to me "In order to love others, we need to love ourselves."
That has always resonated with me.
I hope you have a safe 4th of July, and show love to your community this weekend.

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