Admittedly, when I was younger, I gave the “I’m just not very political” line often. I did not get into political fights, I did not read into much about U.S. history and politics, and I did not have a want or feeling of need to do so. I’ve grown older and that has changed. I recognize my privilege now when I did not before. Just the fact that I had the luxury to sit back and not have any political argument or concern affect me was my privilege shining through.
Today, I am a moderate liberal, I read the news and take in everything I can on both sides of party lines in an effort to stay informed and learn how I can help make change when necessary. I do not believe myself to be truly one party over the other. There are some things I lean more conservatively towards but for the most part I’m very open-minded progressive.
I am a Feminist, I fight daily and believe the fight for equal rights for women is necessary. I see and know that the fight cannot just end there. Equality is not just a sex or gender issue; it is a race issue as well. All people are equal and should be treated as such.
But still, in 2020, we are not equal because of systematic racism. How do we fix this, how do we keep moving towards change? How am I, a white mother of three small children able to help? I teach them better. I raise children that don’t judge by color, are open minded and progressive.
In an effort to do so, here is what I do and will be doing to be a powerful ally by raising the next generation to do better.
Everyone is Equal
I will be teaching my children that it does not matter a person’s color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, everyone is equal and should be treated as such.
You are Privileged
My children are white, we are relatively middle-class, we do not struggle like many others do. I have worries but whether or not I will have food on my table is not one of them. Whether or not I will go out, be pulled over and be shot, is not one of them. I will teach my children that they are privileged, they should recognize it and utilize it to help others. That means helping those in need. That includes speaking up when they see an injustice and that means constantly learning and striving to be better to help others.
I will teach them restorative justice.
It is important to be committed to building a loving and strong community. That means helping others rebuild if they’ve been broken down, especially if you had a hand in it.
I will teach them empathy.
The ability to understand and connect with others, their experiences, their feelings, and their concerns is absolutely necessary in order to raise children who will be fighting for others equality. Empathy is also necessary for them to become adults who understand how their own actions impact others.
I will teach them the great value in diversity.
Diversity is the differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds. People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage and life experience. Understanding the value of diversity is key to open mindedness and truly believing in equality. Every person has a different life, different experiences, and different views. Having a respect for those differences helps us learn, grow, and become better people by listening to others.
Here are some great books to teach kids about race, equality, and racism. *affiliate links below*
All Are Welcome, Written by Alexandra Penfold and Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
A is for Activist, Written and Illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
Counting on Community, Written and Illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
Lovely, Written and Illustrated by Jess Hong
Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America, Written by Emily Easton and Illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Same, Same but Different, Written and Illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, Written and Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn
My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A Cabrera
Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
8 Valuable Lessons to Teach Kids about Gender Equality
Gun Control: How Many Deaths Have to Happen?
I wish everybody raised their children with these values
What’s happening is so disheartening and sad. I also stayed away from politics because I didn’t think it made a difference. I’m learning that our voices matter. Thank you so much for teaching your children to love early ❤♥ Ngozi | https://elevatedmum.com
I have had the same thoughts and conversations. The biggest thing I’ve been told from my friends of color is to speak out against racism. Don’t just shrug off that racist family member. Call them out of their racism. I know I don’t want my kids hearing their racist bull crap.
I’ve been teaching a few of these to my children for a long time. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that there are still white supremist racisists. I just don’t get how anyone can be so small, narrow, and evil minded to be that way.
Thank you for the book resources. I need to get them! We speak to our kids about different races and colors all the time, but it would be nice to have more books with people of color in them!
These are great books for kids. I’ll be getting some!
Thank you! I wished everyone raised there children with these values. I treat my daughter to treat everyone with respect regardless of there skin tone or even there disabilities. I need to invest in getting all those books. Thanks for sharing! I truly appreciate it as a woman of color you using your platform and voice for supporting the movement ?.
These all sound like definite steps in the right direction. I’m trying to also help my kids understand the many ways in which things have NOT been equal for everyone in the past (and continue to not be equal today, in terms of everyone being treated equally on so many levels) so they realize a) what the full history of these problems is and b) that they are STILL ONGOING/NOT “in the past” – in other words, there’s still work to be done, by ALL of us, to continue to raise awareness and educate others!
I completely agree. I was just speaking with my husband this morning about making sure our kids and society in general, other kids, the next generation doesn’t lose sight about learning about the past. We don’t want it to be repeated.