I could not control my face. That was the question a student asked me at the end of class as kids filed out of our STEAM class. I was proud of myself for managing not to laugh and told her she would find out from him.
Mr. Cam, an iOS developer and guest speaker for the day, had just led a workshop with my class of 4th and 5th grade STEAM students.
If you know Mr. Cam, then you fully understand how this lovely child could believe in the magic of Wakanda. Before he speaks, Mr. Cam’s soul has dapped you up, pulled up your chair, and served you a plate. His authenticity and light make him easy to learn from and with. By the end of a conversation with him, you will not only believe in yourself with new conviction, but you will also have a newfound belief in the collective.
With his “Wakanda State of Mind” shirt, Cam greeted students, who took a few seconds to process the new energy in our space. He introduced himself as an app and website builder, social entrepreneur, artist, rapper, spoken word poet, and inventor. He then proceeded to freestyle, give space for each student to share their personal goals and dreams, walk students through how to build their own apps and college majors. By the end of the class, students were in a state of glee.
When Phoenix learned that Mr. Cam was indeed from Wakanda (why not?), I was reminded of the power of community in the life of a child. Not just the community you are born into, but the individuals and organizations that choose to foster and nurture your growth. A community that reflects your culture, affirms your identity, goals, and talents, and makes space for you to grow. That’s the appeal of Wakanda (among so many other things). Many students struggle to grow in the shade of adults who do not stop to see them for the limitless potential and light that they are. All it took for someone to become a fictional superhero was their presence and attention, love, and openness. Wakanda in our classrooms starts there. #WakandaStateOfMind