When life gives you lemonade, forget about the lemons

DETROIT _ You could have knocked me over with a feather when I gave the amazing Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a copy of my book, “The Burden,” and he said he had just last week ordered copies for the bookstore at the National Lynching Memorial. Honored! Week made! No, month made! I was hosting, and he was the featured guest at, the Trauma Summit that Starfish Family Services held on June 22 to remind us that children are children, so we need to stop asking “What is wrong with them?” and instead ask “What happened to them?” Bryan was, as usual, astounding, and the summit will make a difference. As I continue my work studying the effects of trauma and toxic environments on how children learn and retain information, agencies like Starfish will be vital. Their employees, who are more like angels, are the ones on the front lines with teachers. They are the ones that need our help the most. And perhaps by the time I’m done, I can convince at least Michigan officials to pay teachers in urban districts what they should earn for the many jobs that they do.

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