The Alliance for Safe Kids, Inc. (ASK) hosted a virtual community presentation on Wednesday, March 24, with Dr. Mykee Fowlin. 

In his one-man presentation, “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me,” Fowlin took audience members on an experiential journey, having them re-examine core precepts that were taught to them from a young age.

Fowling—who used humor, performance art, poetry, storytelling, psychology, theatrical monologues, and his personal journey, in his presentation—told all attendees, from pre-teens to adults alike, that “we are capable of transforming the world, for the good, but this work starts from within.

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“It is the process of turning our hurt into self-reflection, healing, and then action,” Fowlin said. “It is our simple, but intentional, behaviors where significant change takes place. The gesture of us smiling, acknowledging the existence of another, is as powerful as any other deed done in the world. Let us be like the oyster, turning our pain into something more valuable, but never forgetting the final piece in this transition. The value of the pearl takes place when someone else receives it, not if the oyster keeps it.”

A post-event survey captured the following feedback:

• “I enjoyed the theater aspect of Dr. Fowlin’s presentation. I think that is a great way to connect with kids, making it interesting for them. I think it also allows them to get a grasp on what’s being discussed because Dr. Fowlin made it relatable.”

• “I think that the presentation was really detailed in explaining all three of these issues like diversity, equity, and inclusion because it discussed how everyone is different and how everyone has their struggles and challenges that they have to face within themselves or when dealing with other people. However, whenever you are faced with something like this the presentation taught us that you should be mindful of not only other people’s feelings but your own feelings. This is because the only person who can take the first step to truly have a positive impact and create change is yourself since everyone has a different path and destination in life, and it is important to be aware of the process that people are going through so that you can support them and help them through the good and the bad.”

Liz Talbert, ASK’s executive director, said, “The presentation is the first step in a larger initiative between ASK, the town of Yorktown, and Westchester County government to foster community conversations that may develop meaningful actions to support an atmosphere of diversity, equity and inclusion. The survey responses will be extremely helpful in guiding us as we move forward in the planning process and will be kept anonymous. Please consider setting aside some time to watch the presentation and complete the short survey, your participation and efforts will benefit the community and are appreciated.”

A recording of the presentation and the follow-up survey will be available through April 9. They are both accessible at the ASK website (allianceforsafekids.org).

This article was written by the Alliance for Safe Kids.