Parents Want More Resources to Address Racial Inequality
As parents of young children, we know it’s important to talk about race with our kids. Research confirms this, and we know in our bones it is right. That said, it can be hard at times to find developmentally appropriate resources to share with young children. Or, we ourselves, may lack experience talking about race with other adults in our communities.
This past Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, a group of local pre-K and K-5 parents* and I held a “Tiny Teach In” for families of young children to share ideas about ways we can be more active in the Black Lives Matter movement and support racial equity in our schools, neighborhoods, and communities. In less than two weeks, we strategized over the phone and via email, created an agenda, secured a space, and gathered activities. (And we did all of this while juggling nap times, school-site meetings and after school schedules!) With little over three days to publicize our event, were unsure what type of turnout we could expect. Nonetheless, we were overwhelmed when over 50 families showed up to our event!
Our experience this past Monday, confirmed what we had hoped–we are not alone in our desire to fix racial inequality in our communities.
After meeting and speaking with parents at our teach in, it became clear that even though we come at this work from many different viewpoints and perspectives, we are all interested in sharing resources and strategies to help us lead this important work.
Based on this feedback, we decided to put together a list of resources for parents of young children to address racial equity. We plan to share our Resource List via our Tiny Teach-in email group in time for African American History Month. Resources from this list could also be shared on Pinterest boards, blog posts, etc.
If you are interested in helping us with this effort…
Please take a moment to share your ideas, links and resources using this Google Form. (Anyone who shares resources will automatically be added to the email group**.) If you have any questions about any of this, email us at TinyTeachIn@gmail.com.
* A special thank you goes out to all the folks who contributed to this event, including: Andrea Ibarra-Tacdol, Rhea St. Julien, Davonna Kearny, Masharika Maddison, Miranda Martin, Dan Phung and Julie Roberts-Phung. Special thanks as well to the African-American Arts and Culture Complex for providing space for our event and for Parents for Public Schools – San Francisco!
** The Tiny Teach In Group is a Google email group set up by families for families. This group is for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and working with families, schools, & communities towards racial equity in our city. Please use it to share resources, ask questions, & coordinate action. We won’t always agree, but please be respectful & look for opportunities to listen & learn. To join, email the moderators at TinyTeachIn@gmail.com.
Click here to help us gather resources for parents of young children to address racial equity.
What is the PURPOSE of the resources we are gathering?
We are looking for resources which serve the following functions:
- Self-Reflection: Opportunities for parents to deepen their understanding of race and equity issues, with a focus on anti-black racism
- Kid-Friendly Conversation Starters: Developmentally appropriate resources (e.g. stories, toys, etc.) for educating young children (age 10 and younger) about race and equity issues
- Tips and Suggestions: Conversational tips, tools and strategies to begin conversations about race within a family, workplace, schools and neighborhood.
- Opportunities for Action: Suggested actions that families with young children can take to address racial equality at school and on the playground, and in our neighborhood, city and world.
- Celebrating African American Culture: So much of North American culture is centered around euro-centric values, ideas, and histories. Children need to be exposed to diverse viewpoints and see African-Americans as heroes and protagonists in the narratives we share.
What TYPES of resources are we interested in gathering?
Basically, what types of resources are we looking for? I’ve come up with the following categories:
- Books – either for storybooks for kids or non-fiction/fiction reading re: race for adults
- Games/Toys – Diverse dolls, toys etc. or games that share diverse racial/cultural perspectives.
- Songs – songs of social justice & solidarity to teach our kids; or music of the African-American experience
- Local Events – Bay Area celebrations of African-American History month or family-friendly ways to show your support for racial equity and the Black Lives Matter movement
- Articles – research, magazine articles that address the topic of parenting and racial equity
- Websites – where to go for resources/info on race/equity/parenting
- Videos – kid- and/or adult-appropriate videos on race/equity issues
- Audio recordings – podcasts, NPR segments or audio clips that serve as springboards for kids or adults to talk about race/equity
- Organizations – non-profit organizations that can serve as a resource for speakers and other resources for equity work
- Other – This is a catch-all for any other resources that don’t neatly fit into the above categories.
Any questions? Feel free to email us at TinyTeachIn@gmail.com. Or post your questions in the comments below.
Related reads: MLK Day… NOT!, A Tribute to MLK Jr., Books that Get the Conversation Started
As an educator or family of young children, how are you addressing racial equity in our city? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.
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