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A tiny ripple of hope

June 4, 2020

Dear DUSD Community and Staff,

Congratulations! You have made it through one of the most challenging school years imaginable. Somehow, our community, working together, managed to promote and graduate over 12,000 students. With that monumental task behind us, Summer is here and it should be a time of celebration. Yet for many of us, that’s not the case. 

The death of George Floyd, and so many others, has opened deep national wounds that were far from healed. The pain, frustration, and anger of generations of inequality and oppression are visible across our country today. What we are experiencing can be daunting, scary, and depressing, and it can be easy to want the moment to pass, but don’t. Don’t let it pass. For decades, we have let it pass. 

While I don’t have the answers, I know it’s too easy to become absorbed in our own lives. Doing so kills empathy and compassion for others. When we shut out the world’s problems we simply allow them to grow. When we keep our eyes open and allow ourselves to think of others, to attempt to understand others, and to communicate with others, our world has a chance to improve.

One thing I love about working in education is the idealism of youth. It’s so refreshing to see, on a daily basis, the vision of those that have not become jaded. That is where hope lies. It’s where the solutions to immense problems can be found. While it can be easy to want to teach our children, we often overlook the opportunity to learn from them. 

Now is the time to learn from those that are filled with optimism. It is the time to reach out to others that are outside your typical circle, to those that may, at times, feel marginalized. Don’t underestimate the power of compassion, a caring act, a gentle touch, a friendly smile, or an “are you okay?” Small gestures can be the start of great things. 

For those, like me, who lived through the 60s, these times feel eerily familiar. Worse, it saddens me that such little progress has been made, but I believe there is hope.

Robert Kennedy once said, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

That tiny ripple of hope is within all of us. 


Dave Marken Ed.D
Dublin Unified School District