First, I owe this trip to the Fund for Teachers. I’m really thankful that they see the importance of healthy and meaningful professional development for educators, and they are committed to making these opportunities happen. I would also be a doofus if I didn’t mention the incredible place that I get to work, OLA, that pushes to create classes around issues and moments like this in history, that ask students to consider the other voices of the world and the songs they sing.
The idea of this trip is to pursue the stories of our grandmothers and to name their past stories as valuable and necessary to our present and future.
This trip is framed around the stages of moral development that Carol Gilligan lays out in her book “In a Different Voice”. Each stop on the journey moves from places of silence to places of power, voice, and legacy. Each stop meeting the grandmothers of our world- the powerless and powerful, the good and the complicated, the women who raised humanity, and all the songs that they sing.
We’ll be rolling through six European countries to learn about these women, and hopefully others:
Rome: St. Prisca, Priscilla, Junia, Mary Magdalene
Florence: Artemisia Gentileschi, the Medici women
Siena: St. Catherine
Zurich/Hirzel: Johanna Spyri and “Heidi”
Amsterdam: Maria Montessori, Anne Frank, Corrie ten Boom
Paris: Gertrude Stein, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Coco Chanel, Marie Curie, Mary Cassatt, Marie Antoinette, Joan of Arc
London: Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Queen Boudica, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, the Suffragettes, JK Rowling
Manchester/Haworth: Pankhurst sisters, Brontë sisters
I know there are a thousand more women in these places and in others that deserve time, attention, and studying. My hope is that there will be future trips that give space to learn about their voices as well. I’m looking at you, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Berthe von Suttner, Frida Kahlo, and Mother Teresa.