On this very day three years ago, I wrote a blog called Helping Kids Cope, written just a few days after the shooting that took the lives of high schooler Reat Underwood, his grandfather William Corporon, and Terri LaManno. Since then, our metro area has suffered other hate crimes, including the most recent shooting in Olathe this February, which took the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injured his friend Alok Madasani, as well as Ian Grillot, a bystander who tried to stop the shooting.
Admittedly, I was very shaken up when I wrote that blog in 2014. While I have come to terms with that specific event, I have felt uneasy many times since, when Kansas Citians from various religious and ethnic groups suffered because of their beliefs or simply the color of their skin.
Fortunately, there is hope. This year brings the third annual Give SevenDays Peace Walk, April 24, at Union Station, preceded by six additional days of community building activities. The Give SevenDays events are all open to the community, and many area schools are working with their students to celebrate the SevenDays themes, focused on creating understanding and awareness that will bridge the gaps in our community:
- Love: April 18
- Discover: April 19
- Others: April 20
- Connect: April 21
- Go: April 22
- You: April 23
- Onward: April 24
You can also work with your kids at home to help promote love and understanding. Give SevenDays has a great list of ideas to help you teach your kids about each theme. Click on each day, select the For Educators link, then find activities based on the ages of your kids. There are additional ideas in the video above. I’m personally looking forward to doing the “Love is as easy as…” activity with my kids tomorrow, to kick off this special week.
Here’s to a culture of kindness, awareness and understanding in Kansas City. #makearipple