November 9, 2022
I hope that this message finds you well. Have you ever stopped to consider what your life might be like in 2050? Today, I would like to invite you to dream about the future with me. Some people do not like to think about the future, but growing up as a Christian and in poverty, the future was always a place of promise for me as a child. However, my tendency to dream of a good future has been put to the test since arriving in the U.S. When I first came to the U.S., I learned that I was a “Person of Color”. In Jamaica, I knew that I was Black, but it seemed more relevant that I was poor. In the U.S., I came to understand that my Blackness firmly rooted me in this category of People of Color. In the 20 years that have elapsed, I learned the joys and pains that come with my membership in this community. These lessons have convinced me that, given my identity in the U.S., to choose to expect a good future as a Person of Color is an act of survival, defiance, rebellion, and self-love.
About four years ago, I saw an infographic that showed global population growth over time. The graph predicted peak human population of around 10 billion people in 2050, following which the total human population would start to decline. I am not quite sure why but it captured my attention, and it has stayed with me ever since. In 2050, I will be close to retirement age, and my students will be gaining increased power in the professional arena. What about you? Where might you be on your life’s journey? In which group will you find your sense of belonging and what will be the outlook for that group? How will your current school have changed? Will your school be looking at a future of increased possibilities or one of diminished options?
Consider this possibility for a moment. You made it to 2050! You visit your current school, and but for some new technology and perhaps a new building or two, your school’s culture, demographics, and traditions are exactly the same as they are today. What emotion might you feel at that moment? Would you be happy?
Since starting to think about the future in this more concrete way, I…