Erin Jones on Stories and Strategies for Racial Healing

Key Points

  • You have to understand your own story before you can fully understand another person. 

  • We need to do a lot of work changing how we prepare teachers. We need to add relationship building and hosting conversations to the curriculum. 

Erin Jones Podcast

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom Vander Ark is joined by Erin Jones,  educator, leader, athlete and author of the great book Bridges to Heal US: Stories and Strategies for Racial Healing.

Let’s listen in as Erin reads us an original poem and they discuss athletic leadership, community conversations, the problem with establishing norms and much more. 


Erin opened the conversation with an original poem titled “Sisterhood”, check it out below.

by Erin Jones

I want to be the me I didn’t have as a girl.
I want you to love your hair and your skin and your curves and your height (or lack thereof).
I want you to know you are smart enough and pretty enough and strong enough.
I want you to know it’s ok to not fit in (because the girls who say they do are really just pretending).

I want to be the me I didn’t have as a young adult.
I want you to know you don’t need a man.
I want you to know you don’t have to know where you will be 20 years from now.
I want you to know mistakes are part of the journey.

I want to be the me I didn’t have as an executive.
I want you to know your voice matters.
I want you to know you belong there.
I want you to embrace opportunities to learn from other great women.

I want to be the me I didn’t have as a politician.
I want you to know you can be your full self, even if they say it will lose you your election,
I want you to be the author of your own story.
I want you to maintain your integrity, because you’ll have to live with yourself afterwards, win or lose.

I want to be the me I didn’t have so you can be the you you’re meant to be.


1 person who has shaped your thinking

2 insights for edleaders

  • The importance of your own story.
  • We must hold community conversations and form new agreements.

1 additional insight for edleaders 

  • We have to lead by example. We can not ask people to do things that we are not willing to do ourselves. 

BONUS: 1 Insight for young people 

  • You are worthy because you are.
  • You will always fail to be someone else’s best self, but never if you try to be yourself.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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