The truth is we are all equal… The reality is we are not. ~Dr. Leticia Nieto

Sweet community,

In the history of Soul Shoppe, our Black and African-American staff have experienced racism – from being questioned about their purpose on campus from both staff and parents, to racist remarks from teachers, to the dismissal of comments and feedback.

When forming a response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, here’s what our staff have to say.

What do we want our young people to learn during this time?

A seed can only produce that from which it comes. What seeds are we planting into the minds and hearts of our young people? We have to be sure the fertile hearts and minds of our children are sown with love, peace and respect for all humans, if we ever hope to produce a world that bears the same. Soul Shoppe teaches kids to Stop & Breathe in the face of fiery feelings, but we also know things happen in our communities that make it much harder for People of Color to breathe than others. This systemic oppression has a direct impact on the students we serve.   We are an organization that facilitates essential tools of the heart, such as mindfulness, empathy, restoration, and “anti-bullying”. In October, we shared the definition of bullying:  Bullying involves a power differential, has occurred consistently at least three times, and is intentionally meant to hurt or harm at least one of the individuals or communities involved. What happened to George Floyd and continues to happen to the Black community is beyond bullying, it is a revolting and repulsive display of hostility and disregard for human life and goes against everything our organization believes in and teaches. 

In the Stop & Breathe tool, we take the moment to 

  • exercise our power to STOP and

  • allow one another the rights to BREATHE as a living human being

  • to THINK as an individual then

  • CHOOSE to unite on one peaceful accord  

  • to ACT in the best interest of the entire human race.

We invite you to embrace any or all parts of our Stop & Breathe tool throughout the coming weeks to enhance your choices and actions. 

We stand with our African AMERICAN citizens in defeating the ongoing oppression, unfair treatment, and social injustice to bring love, compassion, understanding and dignity to all. 

With deep care,

The Soul Shoppe Staff