By Ferial and Iman Pearson

Screenshot of message between multiple Josh Swains: “You’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today.” “Because we all share the same names…..?” “Precisely. 4/24/2021, 12:00 PM, meet at these coordinates, (40.8223286, -96.7982002). we fight, however wins gets to keep the name, everyrone else has to change their name. you have a year to prepare, good luck
Screenshot of message between multiple Josh Swains: “You’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you all here today.” “Because we all share the same names…..?” “Precisely. 4/24/2021, 12:00 PM, meet at these coordinates, (40.8223286, -96.7982002). we fight, however wins gets to keep the name, everyrone else has to change their name. you have a year to prepare, good luck
Image from the Original Josh Swain

This poem was written entirely using phrases found in Tumblr posts, news articles, Instagram, and Tweets. Sources and places to contribute appear below the poem.

You’re probably wondering
Why I’ve gathered you all here today

Presidential Alert: THE JOSH ARE FIGHTINGGGG

Josh Vs Josh Vs Josh
(May the best Josh win)

Yes it did, in fact, happen.

April 24th, 2021 A.D.
12:00 PM local time
Air Park Green Area,
4500 NW 45th St, Lincoln, NE, 68524.

Just as it was foretold in the meme

Josh Swain picked the coordinates at random
as a joke
to keep himself…


The Muezzin, 1865. Jean-Léon Gérôme. French, 1824–1904. Oil on Canvas. Bequest of Francis T.B. Martin, 1995.37. Housed at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, USA

I search for myself in art; I come to every piece as a whole person, with all the parts of my intersecting identities intact. Sometimes, one or more parts bubble up more than others, and when I study this painting, my Islamic faith rises to the top first, and my identity as an East African immigrant who lives in Omaha, Nebraska is a close second. The artist, Jean-Léon Gérôme, was a non-Muslim Frenchman whose first encounter with Islam was during a tour of the Near East when he was 41 years old. This trip inspired this painting, The Muezzin, among…


Bad Things Keep Happening In Our Town

By Dr. Ferial Pearson, Dra. Sandra Rodriguez-Arroyo, & Mr. Gabriel Gutiérrez.

*Our opinions are our own and not representative of any organization.

We need someone to explain to us like we are kindergarteners how an elementary school teacher reading a picture book about racial injustice somehow jeopardizes their entire district’s relationship with their police department. Or…maybe we don’t.

It came to our attention this week through Twitter and an Omaha news story that a teacher at a Nebraska elementary school in the Papillion/LaVista School District in the metropolitan Omaha area read the book Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s…


A Poem In Progress and In Anger

You wanna talk about Looting after Cold-Blooded Murder.
So let’s talk.

The neighborhood was Looted
Long before the windows broke
Long before the tear gas was thrown
Long before fire grenades flashed through the night
There was Looting
There has always been Looting
Since land, liberty, and life was Looted from the first people to live in this neighborhood,
The Looting has Continued

Let’s talk about who lit the neighborhood on fire
Let’s talk about
Who ransacks
Who plunders
Who pillages
Who rapes
Who steals
And who is despoiled of
Dignity. Humanity. LIFE


Deceit Wrapped In Kindness: Part 2

The author, Ferial Pearson, Ed.D. is an education professor at UNO and the founder of the Secret Kindness Agents Project. She has won several national awards for her work in both education and social justice. Photo courtesy of Adam Casey

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely the author’s and not necessarily the author’s employer, organization, or other individuals.

This was first published in the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s The Gateway, an independent student newspaper on October 1st, 2019.

___________________________________________________________________

Justice Louis Brandeis is said to have written that “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” …


Islamophobia is real in small town Nebraska.

On Monday, August 19th, 2019 I drove 343 miles for five hours to the small town of Mullen, located in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska, where there is one of the top golf courses in the entire world. The drive was peaceful and I was looking forward to speaking to the students and staff there. Two staff members from Mullen had seen me speak in March when I was the keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the Nebraska Association of School Boards at Grand Island, Nebraska. They felt that my presentation about…


I have been thinking a lot about bullying since it’s part of both my personal and professional worlds. When people find out my dissertation was about kindness, the conversation inevitably goes to talking about bullying prevention and what schools can do about it. These conversations (like most conversations) stay with me for a long time, and I keep wondering about causes and solutions.

I have been bullied.
My children have been bullied.
My spouse has been bullied.
My friends and family have been bullied.
BULLYING AFFECTS EVERYONE.

10 Things I’ve Realized About Bullying:

1. Bulling happens everywhere, every single day…


I was honored to be invited to be the luncheon speaker at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha for International Women’s Day. As I reflected upon what to say, I chose to take bits and pieces of things I had already written, and people I had already quoted, to truly come up with a message that i hoped would resonate with the phenomenal women who attend that college. …


My speech for Protest the Ban in Omaha, NE

As-Salam-u-Alaikum

Peace be upon you

Bismillah ar rahman ar rahim

I would like to begin by paying my respects to the indigenous people whose land we are on right now. In particular, I pay my respects to the Umoⁿhoⁿ people for whom this city is named.

Unless you belong to the indigenous tribes of this land, you are an immigrant, as well. Chances are, some of your ancestors were refugees too.

My name is Ferial Pearson and I am a Muslim immigrant from Kenya. I came to this country nineteen years…


My speech at the Women’s March on Omaha

As-Salam-u-Alaikum

I would like to begin by paying my respects to any indigenous people here whose land we are currently occupying, and in particular, any members of the Umoⁿhoⁿ Nation after whom the city where I live was named.

When I was asked to speak at this event, my instinct was to say no. I was afraid. Afraid of judgment, violence, and oppression, things that have been constants in my life. But then I was reminded of this quote by Audre Lorde:

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not…

Ferial Pearson

Secret Kindness Agent Mama Beast.

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