Many have heard the name Rosa Parks and will remember her as being the brave woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus one day. What many may not know is that the incident on the bus was far from the first time Rosa fought for her own and others' civil rights. Years of hard work, protests, arrests, and discussions went into Rosa's campaign to help her fellow citizens get the rights they deserve.
When Rosa Parks said she would not give up her seat on the bus it was not the first time she had fought for her rights as a human being. It wasn’t even the first time she had been in an argument with that specific bus driver. What her legacy should teach us is that it is not one single incident that changes the whole world, but one incident is enough to be remembered throughout history.
Real change takes time!
Just like Rosa Parks, we must understand that change takes time and hard work. It starts with small actions in your daily life such as treating other people with kindness and speaking up when you see something unjust. Think about it this way, we all have our personal spaces (our homes, bedrooms, blanket forts, or what have you) but when we step outside those spaces and join the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to be a positive contribution to the community. Therefore, we teach our children not to litter or give up their seat on the subway for someone who needs it, so that they can be respectful global citizens who understand that we all have the power to make big changes when we stay consistent.
Small acts every day will make big impacts in the future!
Especially when it comes to teaching your children about the legacy Rosa Parks left behind about diversity and inclusion you might find it helpful to focus on the small acts. Teach your children to be aware of what is going on around them that way they will be aware of what inclusivity looks like. Something seemingly small like helping a stranger in need might contribute to making that stranger speak up about something. Many times, we are held back by our fear of failure but when we are empowered by those around us, we can make big changes.
Always continue your mission!
Whatever you are passionate about you should never give up on it. Find a cause that you want to join and keep fighting for it no matter what. There was a strategy behind what Rosa Parks did when she refused to give up her seat on the bus and a goal to spark a boycott for a day. It turned out to spark much more than a day of boycotting and is still to this day one of the most pivotal not to mention inspirational actions in the civil rights movement.
Support those around you!
In this country, there are systemic issues that we cannot ignore anymore. This is why education is so important and such a great place to teach about diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging. We need to talk about how support will lead to progress and change. Rosa Parks garnered so much support through her act, and thus lead a wave for change.
Keep teaching her story!
There is a reason why we remember the story of Rosa Parks so well. As an isolated incident, her refusing to give up her seat looks like a very dangerous action, and it was dangerous for her to do. When we learn more about Rosa Parks and we understand she showed that same courageousness several times despite all that was stacked against her.
Rosa Parks was someone who dared fight for her cause. At the time she was doing it she might not have known what her legacy would look like or even that people would still be talking about it today. We can never know what events will make it into the history books until we see the outcome of them but if we all try to make the world a better place by educating those who are coming after us, we can make sure to not repeat history.
If her legacy should teach us anything it is that there is power in taking a stand for what is right and that when we come together to help one another, we can achieve a major impact. No one has to choose one cause over the other, but if you help those around you with their cause you might find out that they will help you with yours.