Oct. 30, 2020 12:00 pm

Opinion: Your voice matters and your vote matters

"This week has been a roller coaster of emotions," says guest columnist Ami Patel Hopkins, citing both the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., and the upcoming presidential election.

Guest columnist Ami Patel Hopkins says she started the week feeling both angst and excitement about November 3.

(Image by Dr. Jane Shore)

This guest column was written by Ami Patel Hopkins. It represents her individual opinion and does not represent the viewpoints of organizations with which she is affiliated either professionally or personally.
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. I am infuriated that another Black man has been killed, Rest in Power #WalterWallaceJr.  I refuse to continue to have the same conversations with my 5th/6th grade scientists and the #PHAdvisory.

This time it was a bit different in that this shooting happened in the neighborhood I teach in and the one where my students reside. I had to call my neighbor (Ms. Henrietta — a fellow BIPOC mom) the morning after, to give me wisdom, strength and inspiration as I went into my virtual classroom and tried my best to be a source of light for my students and create a #SAFEandBRAVE space for them.

This incident also pushed me to continue to help remove the stigma and also to share the message that your mental health matters.

Yet another event that motivates me to manifest the world I want for my own child and my students and turn fire into light. The world I dream about for them is one where we use the same tools as in the #PHSTEAMGalaxy (forgiveness, love, empathy and hope) and have the same norms as the #PHSTEAMGalaxy (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion).

I also started the week feeling both angst and excitement about November 3. In an effort to make connections and build bridges, I put a Why Vote? survey out to my network. Respondents were asked to to answer the question,”why do you vote?”, in two words or less.

There were 41 respondents.  Ninety percent of the respondents were born in the United States. Those who were not born in the United States are from Canada, India, and Israel.  The majority of the respondents were in the age range of 30-49, eight respondents were in the age range of 50-64 and two respondents were 65 and over.

(Word cloud by Ami Patel Hopkins)

As you can see from the word cloud of the responses, above, voice was definitely prevalent. (The colors and sizes of the words are based on the frequency with which they showed up in the survey responses.)

From our Partners

Your voice matters and your vote matters.

Here is three-point voter checklist:

Be an informed voter.

Help spread joy to the polls.

Encourage and educate people in your network about voting.


If you have ideas about issues, policies, and/or perspectives that I should highlight in this column, please complete this submission form. My column focus areas will prioritize submission ideas. The dialogue can be continued at EdSpace. 


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