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Loss & Growth Process

As we listened to the Green siblings and other interviewees share their stories and wisdom around events connected with the historic Little Rock Central High School desegregation chapter of the Civil Rights Movement, we worked to identify themes and patterns of learning that might help others to connect with and more deeply understand not only the events around Central High School desegregation, but also patterns of loss and growth in their own lives.

At the time of the “Little Rock Nine” desegregation incidents, many groups and individuals in the city of Little Rock found themselves right in the middle of the continuum pictured above– Segregation was the norm, and Inequality was the reality. The Green Siblings and others interviewed for this project tell often of the positive movements toward the right of this graphic– through Desegregation and a move toward more Equality toward (hopefully) a stronger, healthier place of Equity and Integration. But we also realized that this story, and indeed the story of all human beings, doesn’t BEGIN in Inequality and Segregation. Though there are many factors that impact individuals even BEFORE birth and involving the families and communities they are born into, we know that every human being is, at his or her inception and core, filled with Integrity and Equity. Many educators and child development researchers have documented the various ways children experience both Loss and a sense of Division as they move through stages of maturation. Not every child moves as fully into the experience of Inequality/Segregation as some do, but we all experience some inevitable struggles with separation from others… or with a growing sense of the unfair or uneven elements of society. Our hope, as shown in this continuum, is that, wherever we may find ourselves, the “end goal” of our journey is one of Equity and Integration with others.

The questions in this unit are designed for individual journaling and for group sharing. As we share our stories and listen respectfully to the stories of others, we can grow together in understanding, and move together toward more equity and integration.

Re-Read the Touchstones together

In your conversation circle, re-read and review the Touchstones together. Be certain to begin this process each time with these reminders.

Processing Each Set of Questions

In your conversation circles, take a few minutes to listen to the selected set of interviews and read the section together aloud. Then take 10 to 15 minutes to journal individually. Once everyone is finished, begin your time of sharing and listening. Take whatever amount of time is needed for everyone who wants to share to share. Remembering the Touchstones, feel free to offer an occasional “Honest, Open Question” but refrain from “fixing, saving, advising or correcting”. Most importantly, set a goal to listen deeply and develop deeper understanding of the others in your circle and of your own experiences.

Equity & Integrity…

Click the images above to listen to stories.

  1. Equity exists when everyone has what is needed. Do you recall a time early in life when everything you needed was supplied? What memories do you have of that time?
  2. Integrity happens when people or things are “true to their nature” through and through. Do you recall a time when people or situations really were “solid” in their integrity without illusion or pretense? What or who were some of those situations or people of integrity?
  3. Was there a time when you felt you could be just exactly who you were and be seen, recognized and appreciated for it? How far back was that time? Who were the family, friends or community members who acknowledged you in that way?
  4. What stories of equity or integrity have been important to you, to your family or to your community?


click below to go on to page 2, the “Division & Loss”