12 Mar Racism Awareness for Families
Every month is a good month for racism awareness.
“What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness.” ~Audre Lorde
These inspired words by late, great poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde propose that if we can embrace our differences as we acknowledge our sameness as humans, we will be able to move forward together towards a world without racism. What can we do as parent educators and Active Parents? Plant a seed for our children. Here are some ideas to get you started:
MODEL POSITIVE BEHAVIOR.
Because children take their cues more from what we do than what we say, you cannot teach respect if you speak disrespectfully. Model the behavior you hope to see in your children. Be the reflection of not only a non-racist but an anti-racist.
- Diversify your social group. Make an effort to interact with people of all different backgrounds.
- Speak respectfully and with kindness to all the people you encounter in your daily life.
- Be open to learning about cultures that are different from your own.
Talk with your children about the problem of racism and the damage it causes. Parent educators can sow the seeds and parents can foster their development with their own children. The conversations don’t need to be long but there should be many. If parents do not speak to their children about racism, someone else may fill the void of their silence.
EXPOSE. EXPLORE. EXPERIENCE.
Expose children to a variety of different cultures. For example, take them to Multi-Cultural Fairs and other community events where you can experience food from other cultures and learn about customs and holidays. Be inclusive not exclusive. Travel if you can, or just travel in your imagination—read books, listen to music, view art, and watch films by authors and artists from all races and cultures from all over the world. And, again—TALK about what you see and hear and feel. Talk about racism, stereotypes, and discrimination in the media to increase racism awareness.
Let’s stand together and embrace both our differences and sameness to work towards ending racism and hatred and build a better world for our future—our children.
Sources & Other Resources:
- “5 tips for raising an anti-racist child” by Latisha Gathers-Hutchins, PhD.
- “Talking to Children About Racial Bias” by Ashaunta Anderson, MD, MPH, MSHS, FAAP & Jacqueline Dougé, MD, MPH, FAAP
- “Talking to your kids about racism: How to start the important conversation and keep it going” by UNICEF
- “How to Talk Honestly With Children About Racism” from PBS.org
- List of resources from: Center for Racial Justice in Education
Contributing author: Gabrielle Tingley
Active Parenting Publishers founder and president Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. has been providing research-based education programs with an emphasis on nonviolent discipline, mutual respect, and open communication for over 35 years. He is widely known for his expertise in the field of parent education and has appeared on over 100 TV programs, including CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show.