FAIR News: Choosing Gratitude Over Grievance
Dear Friends of FAIR,
Two years ago, my wife and I received an email from our then second-grade son’s teacher titled “Reimagining Your Thanksgiving Celebration.” The email included an embedded article giving advice, and stating that: “For many in the Native American community, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning.” I was surprised, and disappointed, at the heavy tone of this Thanksgiving message. For me and my family, Thanksgiving is a day of celebration—and, unlike the teacher, or the author of the article, I have Native American ancestry.
By this point, in November 2020, it had become clear from this and other communications that the school was no longer going to observe Thanksgiving or other holidays in the same way it had in the past. The administration seemed to have embraced a newly popular pedagogy that insists on treating people as representatives of identity groups, rather than as unique individuals united by our shared humanity, and that seeks to transform Thanksgiving—which was established by Abraham Lincoln as a positive, unifying, celebration of gratitude—into a negative, politicized, commemoration of grievance.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that historical injustices, including those perpetrated against some of my ancestors, should be taught in our schools. We need to be honest about American history, warts and all. However, as Nelson Mandela famously said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” There is a time, a place, and a way to teach children about these issues—and it is the height of cynicism to use a beloved national holiday centered on gratitude, forgiveness, and family to reinforce a negative and overly simplistic narrative about this country. The next generation should understand the full complexity of our past—including the incredible progress we have made, and continue to make, toward upholding the promise of individual rights for all Americans as outlined in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and other founding documents.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving 2022, I am deeply grateful that our children are now enrolled in schools where Thanksgiving and other holidays are observed in a way that honors and respects the values that are important to me, my family, and the rest of the exhausted majority in this country. Values like gratitude, optimism, and, of course, fairness, understanding, and humanity. Over the past several weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I have been humbled to meet so many courageous people on our stops across the country. From Arizona, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to New York, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and Illinois, the outpouring of support for FAIR and the Pro-Human Movement has filled me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and purpose.
Thank you for being part of this movement. Together, we are bolstering the forces of love, and honest inclusion, over the forces of hate and alienation. On behalf of the entire team of volunteers and staff at FAIR, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
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Join Us for Giving Tuesday!
Please mark your calendar and consider supporting FAIR by donating on Giving Tuesday!
FAIR in the Arts Community Meetup
Join us on Wednesday 11/30 from 7-9 pm EST to hear updates on FAIR in the Arts' ongoing initiatives, participate in discussion groups with the team and Fellows, and meet others who share pro-human values and who want to make a difference in their own communities. Arts practitioners, advocates, and media professionals—anyone who wants to create a culture where artists and others are free to express themselves—are welcome.
We are also pleased to share the FAIR in the Arts Community Calendar! Click here to add this to your own Google Calendar and keep track of events that are hosted by FAIR in the Arts, feature Arts Fellows, or of interest to our community.
FAIR Book Club: Ian Rowe’s Agency
FAIR’s Book Club meets monthly with a goal to read books that challenge and deepen our understanding of humanity and fairness, while enriching our sense of what it means to be pro-human.
The FAIR in Education Fellows invite you to our next book club meeting on November 30th, where FAIR Advisor Ian Rowe will join us to discuss his book, Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for All Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power.
We hope you will join us as we dig into the sage wisdom and advice offered in this phenomenal book.
Illiberalism in Medicine: A Conversation With Heather MacDonald and Sally Satel
Join FAIR in Medicine for our webinar Illiberalism in Medicine: A Conversation With Heather MacDonald and Sally Satel hosted by FAIR Board of Advisor, Co-Founder & CEO of Vertex Partnership Academies, and AEI Senior Fellow Ian Rowe. How is DEI affecting medical training and practice? What are solutions to illiberalism in healthcare? Hear from Manhattan Institute Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, Heather MacDonald, and AEI Fellow, author, and practicing psychiatrist Sally Satel, MD. To learn more about their thoughts, read Heather MacDonald’s The Corruption of Medicine and Sally Satel’s What Is Happening to My Profession?
Rights and Responsibilities: A Symposium for School Board Members
The importance of school boards has come to the forefront in recent years. Join us at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells from the evening of Thursday, December 15th to Saturday, December 17th to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a board member, and how to approach your local community leadership position using FAIR’s principles of fairness, understanding, and humanity.
Presenters include FAIR Advisors Robert Pondiscio, Adam Seagrave, and Zander Keig, along with Cory Brewer, Jennifer Meinhardt, and FAIR Action Fellow Tanya Simons.
FAIR Summer Internship Program
Applications are now open for our full-time summer internship program for highly motivated and open-minded undergraduate students.
Ideal candidates value curiosity, compassion, and courage, have excellent communication and leadership skills, and show a passion for FAIR’s pro-human values and vision. This internship provides students with real-world experience in a nonpartisan, dynamic, and mission-driven organization, while also empowering students to become ambassadors for FAIR’s mission. See what Summer 2022 Interns have to say about their experience below.
The internship is fully remote, except for an in-person orientation during the first week of the internship. Over the course of the internship, interns attend weekly all-hands meetings and work with a specific team to assist with new and ongoing projects. As a cohort, interns attend lunch & learns and seminars with thought leaders who promote our pro-human mission. Interns are expected to return to campus with a plan for bringing FAIR’s mission and approach to their respective colleges and universities.
FAIR Perspectives Podcast
Last week on Fair Perspectives, we spoke with with Dr. Patrick Lockwood. Patrick is a practicing clinical psychologist and professor and the author of The Fear Problem: How Technology and Culture have Hijacked our Minds and Lives. Dr. Lockwood focuses on trauma and addiction treatment. He also has a podcast on YouTube about topics related to mental health, wellness, psychology, and neuroscience called The Psychology Checkup. In this episode, we discuss his background as a psychologist, how he treats patients with unjustified fears, the pros and cons of social media, pineapple on pizza (spoiler alert: he's anti), the oversimplification on both sides of the trans debate, the sex-gender distinction, the overmedication of children, and the tendency for psychology to overcorrect.
FAIR News Podcast
Join the Pro-Human Movement With FAIR Merch!
How To Deal With Hatred: Featuring FAIR Advisory Board Member Zander Keig
"When I was angry, I doubt I changed a single mind. The man who walked away from me in Denver, if I had not apologized to him, I am fairly certain he would have returned home to come up with every reason in the world why he was right and I was wrong. But when I engage people with friendship, conversation, and genuine interest, that attitude is so often returned back to me. I know I’ve helped others find acceptance that way, because I’ve seen the proof."
FAIR Educators Alliance & Administrators Alliance Happy Hours
Teachers often feel isolated and alone in their schools, but FAIR is here for you! The FAIR Educators Alliance brings together educators from all levels to share experiences and concerns and work on developing resources that can support teachers, community members, and FAIR chapters.
FAIR’s Educator’s Alliance is hosting an informal happy hour every other Thursday evening, alternating between beginning at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET, and will hold more formal monthly meetings that will address issues based on your interests and needs.
If you’re a K-12 school administrator, we’re here to support you too! You’re invited to join the FAIR Administrators Alliance, which holds meetings the last Thursday of every month at 1:00 p.m. ET!
All teachers and administrators are welcome! For more information and to subscribe to the calendar, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling all FAIR Member Librarians and Library Staff! FAIR has established a network for members to connect and discuss key issues affecting their profession, advance pro-human principles, and preserve academic freedoms in library systems. The group meets biweekly.
Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in joining!