A personal letter from our Founder
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
~ Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom.
Last week felt like an awakening. And I recognize my own privilege in being able to say this, as a non-Black POC. But the work still remains. We know the present must not continue as it is. If we want the future to change, as parents we must raise the future generation to be aware, to be anti-racist and to be just.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that last week involved a lot of difficult conversations with my two children. Being an immigrant in this country and raising POC children, I have had conversations around racism and racial discrimination before. But these past few days a lot of new words were introduced, tears were shed, and facts were checked.
Race is an uncomfortable subject to talk about, especially among adults. But I know this that we must talk about it now, because racism thrives in silence. So it’s time to get uncomfortable for the sake of our next generation.
The first step is to acknowledge that racism exists. Remember that kids learn by watching us more than by listening to us. How we treat people of diverse cultures and what we do (or don’t do) for others reflects as unconscious bias against race, among children. So it’s time to educate ourselves to actively remove conscious or unconscious biases that exist.
The second step is to help our children understand racism and mentor them to work towards racial equality. Raise kids to be proud of their color—no matter what the shade. The Colors of Us is a book I read with my kids when they were not too happy about other kids asking questions about their skin color.
Make sure you encourage curiosity. Do not be afraid to take a step or say something in the fear of saying the wrong thing. Answer your child’s questions truthfully. If you do not have an answer, invite them to research with you and find the right answer.
Invite diversity into your life. Know that racism extends beyond the color of our skin. Cultural norms, language and other factors in the ethnic spectrum play a role in folding our assumptions and discrimination. Encourage your children to have friends from diverse backgrounds. The benefits go far beyond raising anti-racist children. It is only by sharing and learning from diverse stories that we will build a better world. Diversity makes us stronger.
Remember, none of this will happen in a day. As parents we all know that and that is why we are so good at our consistent efforts in mentoring our children. Start small, but start today.
Here are some fantastic resources I want to share with you that I have found helpful. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. I will be using our social channels to share more resources as I find them. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have found other resources and we will include that in this list.
Books to Read
- All Are Welcome
- A Kids Book About Racism
- We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street)
- We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart
- The Day You Begin
- Where Are You From?
- Alma and How She Got Her Name
- Three Balls of Wool
- Not So Different Book
* Please note that a lot of these books seem to be out-of-stock but you can find them in the local bookstore or at the library.
- The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. On their website you can find books, based on age, that you can read to your kid.
- Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests
- Teaching Your Child About Black History
- Teaching Tolerance: Race & Ethnicity
- Raising Race-Conscious Children
- 100 Race-Conscious things you can say to your child to advance racial justice
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners – A fantastic list of books by outstanding African American authors.
- 9 resources for teaching anti-racism – A list of remarkable resources put together by ISTE to nurture anti-racism.
Organizations to Donate
- Buy from Black businesses. Here is an easy way to order take-out from Black businesses. The site also provides options of other services and multiple locations across the US.
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Campaign Zero – An online platform and organization that utilizes research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
- Unicorn Riot – A non-profit organization that is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues.
- Black Visions Collective – An organization dedicated to Black liberation and to collective liberation.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund – A community-based non-profit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive and oppressive jailing.
- Reclaim the Block – A coalition that organizes around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.
- Mothers of Color COVID-19 Grant
- NAACP: We are done dying – The NAACP has started a social movement to urge Congress to take every measure in ensuring we protect Black lives. This is an action to take (you can sign the petition).