126. Teach Compassion and Diversity Through a Song
In honor of Black History Month, Songs To Educate invites inspired teachers to incorporate a moving tribute to civil rights with the song “Many Colors Are We.”
Songs To Educate, an Arts Integrated Education resource, introduces a powerful song to accompany the tides of change in the global education of universal human rights. The song is called “Many Colors Are We”. It is a bilingual tribute (Spanish and English) embracing the essence of humanity, conveyed through song and a moving narrative.
This February, Songs To Educate invites teachers and parents to incorporate the song and video “Many Colors Are We” to their Black History Month curriculum to celebrate diversity.
Teaching civil rights and social justice in light of Black History Month is an opportunity to engender perennial values and principles in young lives. The American Civil Rights movement is not over! The best way to honor the extraordinary breakthroughs of the Civil Rights Act, the NAACP, the Freedom Riders, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to bring the issues of civil rights alive in light of current times.
The struggle for basic human rights, civil rights and social justice is a world affair. It involves all of humanity, everywhere on this tiny planet. It is the collective responsibility of all people of all backgrounds.
Education is a key to instill these important values.
Like so many songs by the artist Talking Hands Talking Feet, “Many Colors Are We” is a children song for all ages! It is simple with a profound message.
Teaching compassion and tolerance begins with an inexorable sense of humanity and kindness, expressed so beautifully in the African word ‘Ubuntu’.
Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa describes in his book “No Future Without Forgiveness”, “Ubuntu speaks of the very essence of being human….It is to say, ‘My humanity is caught up, inextricably bound up, in yours.’ We say, ‘A person is a person through other persons.’ It is not ‘I think therefore I am.’ It says rather: ‘I am human because I belong, I participate, I share.'”
A recent Ted Talk presented by Boyd Varty “What I learned from Nelson Mandela” explores the concept of “Ubuntu” through a personal and moving narrative.
Humans are of one fabric. When the fabric is torn somewhere, even in one person, it affects all humanity. That is the indelible belief of the Aleut people of Alaska. In greeting they say, “Aang Waan!”, which means ‘Hello my other self’! In Okinawa, Japan, the greeting is “Ichariba chode”, which is to say, another person is already one’s brother or sister, even if meeting for the first time.
Compassion weaves throughout the tightly knit fabric of indigenous peoples all over the world. It is integral, inseparable. In fact, to not have empathy or compassion towards one’s brothers and sisters of the human tribe, is alien to most rural indigenous peoples.
The song “Many Colors Are We” from Songs To Educate is about being part of the cure. What does it mean to be part of the cure?
Religious, ethnic or culturally bred prejudice, racism and bigotry is unacceptable in our time. These things are not “human nature”. They are based in ignorance and fear of the unknown. Education plays a huge role in ‘being part of the cure’. Gender inequality and racism are not human nature but human pathology that is learned.
Many believe passionately that ‘the cure’ begins in education!
Songs and stories are integral to teaching. To educate through a song is not only to open the mind, but to open the heart! This is the mission of Songs To Educate. This February, Songs To Educate’s “Many Colors Are We” is a brilliant complement to Black History Month relevant curricula.