Community Stories: Phil Knapp

Published on July 18, 2022 in

I work as a videographer for the Michigan Association of Schoolboards. In addition to reading and sharing the daily 21-Day Equity Challenge email content, my organization is holding weekly discussions on the topics, which has opened the door for powerful conversations and communication with my co-workers and friends.

I made it a point to participate when I heard about the challenge because I know the only way to create change is to engage. I’m a cis white male and I understand the privilege in that. I really enjoy hearing from others from different backgrounds and experiences because that’s how I learn and become better.

I’ve learned a lot from my wife who identifies as bisexual and is very passionate about the LGBTQ community. I wasn’t exposed much to LGBTQ culture when we met. I wasn’t hateful or pessimistic, I was just ignorant, and she has helped me grow my perspective. We’ve been together for 12 years yet many of my coworkers wouldn’t know that about my wife simply because it’s not something that often comes up in conversations. During the challenge, I felt safe to share more about the communities we identify with – even sharing my own struggles with anxiety and depression.

Our school board members have an impact on every student in the state and so it’s important for us at MASB to collaborate around issues of equity. As an organization, we’re not just going to talk without also doing – we’re going to walk our talk and help represent ALL students in Michigan.