The Thumper Theory

Faith SandlerAdvocacy and Policy, Community, Democracy, Impact, Leadership, Words of Faith

Today, I invoke the Thumper Theory as a way of marking Independence Day.

I am at an unprecedented loss for things to say that will celebrate the United States of America. Though this is my 57th Fourth of July, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the tenets of democracy, human rights, freedom, and liberty more threatened.

Bambi, the Disney film in which Thumper plays a supporting role, has been released or re-issued seven times since the 1942 original. If you were a child or a parent between 1942 and 2006, chances are good that you saw the movie. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the relevant quotable moment:

So, thanks to Thumper, this blogpost is devoted to what I can say, with conviction and without violating the requirement that nonprofits remain nonpartisan.

Here is what I celebrate on this day:

  • Higher education is more essential than ever to build a democratic society. This ideal holds true, however distanced this country may be from turning ideal into reality.
  • Young leaders are well-versed in the dangers of racism, isolationism, and use of force to govern. For many of our students and supporters, the experience of being excluded is not new and there is much to learn by their resistance to oppression and tenacity in the most difficult times.
  • As an organization, The Scholarship Foundation is thinking critically about the value of a post-secondary education and taking action every day to open doors for students who face being locked out or priced out.
  • Our students and graduates are actively advocating at their schools, in their communities, and at the state and federal level for policies that advance educational opportunity.
  • The Foundation, and the ever-expanding community that supports our work, has a 100-year history of courageously countering complacency. There is no shortage of work for us to do together, and no time to retreat into fear or despair (though we are all allowed breaks from time to time!).

Most who read this post are actively supporting the work of The Scholarship Foundation, and I thank you dearly. I believe among us we can consider this Interdependence Day, and set our sights on getting back to work tomorrow.

– Faith Sandler