Voices That Matter

Voices That Matter

The ASBA “Voices That Matter Campaign” was created to honor voices, emotions and experiences on racial injustice in the United States.
ASBA condemns racism and police brutality against black people. Along with our community, we mourn the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the endless list of black lives lost as a direct result of racism, white supremacy, and systemic oppression.
Black, brown and other underrepresented voices in our schools must be amplified. This campaign is one opportunity to do this and help our staff and members express themselves and heal through these difficult times.

Heidi Otero

ASBA Director of Communications

My first experience with social injustice and racism was at six years old. My grandmother was physically assaulted by her neighbor with a metal baton because she was mowing a small patch of grass that crossed over her side of the lawn. The neighbor made it very clear she didn’t want to live next to a Mexican family and wanted them all to go back to Mexico. To eliminate from seeing the neighbor, my grandfather had a block cement wall built to separate the two yards. As a young child, that was the very first time I realized someone didn’t like us because we had a different color of skin and spoke a different language. My family never wanted to discuss the incident in front of me and ignored the neighbor from then on. I think they were trying to protect me as a child. This approach may have worked as a child, but, as adults, we can’t ignore racism by building a cement wall and pretending it doesn’t exist. We have to initiate these tough conversations and advocate for what is right and wrong and change needs to happen.