After a record-setting number of deportations under the Obama Administration, Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promise to outdo his predecessor. Undocumented immigrant adults are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandparents, neighbors, community members, and workers. The prospect and realities of often violent ICE raids, detentions, and deportations are potentially traumatizing, not only for them, but also for the children who love them, depend on them, and are only sometimes forcibly removed alongside them.
EmbraceRace co-founders, Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas, frame the discussion and facilitate the community conversation with expert guest, Dr. Cinthya Chin Herrera. An edited transcript of the conversation and related resources follow. (Let us know if there are others you’ve found useful.) Remember to sign up for the EmbraceRace twice monthly newsletter to keep informed about upcoming community conversations or events and to receive a curated collection of perspectives, articles and resources about race and raising kids.
My neighborhood, like so many across the country, has a racial profiling problem on our online community forums. I live in a predominately White, affluent community in Atlanta, Georgia comprised of nearly 8,000 residents. Despite our reputation as a liberal enclave, on Nextdoor, a social media site that purports to connect neighbors, people of color are criminalized on a nearly daily basis while White people doing the same things are extended compassion and understanding.
Neighbors share “be on the look out” posts when Black transients are seen in our neighborhood, while a White transient is fiercely protected — a beloved fixture in our community, actually.
One of the many plusses of teaching 3rd grade is that you get the opportunity to observe children figuring out who they are.
In a classroom full of black students, racial stereotypes definitely came into play. Some students readily assumed familiar roles and interests: D’Jenique, an outspoken girl who rejected any semblance of disrespect. She was quick to check anyone who mispronounced her name. Quintrell, a confident boy who adopted a tough persona and would not be caught at recess without a football.
On June 30th, EmbraceRace posted an article by a gay black man entitled “Why I’m Giving Up on ‘Allies’.” The author, Ernest Allen, writes this: “What I have realized is that too many allies conduct themselves as service providers: They show up only when there’s an immediate need, they require me to explain the problem again and again, and they may or may not actually fix anything. In other words, allies are more trouble than they’re worth.”
This piece, submitted anonymously, was prompted by Allen’s reflections.
Tools for raising brave kids in a world where race matters
(Happily, Chap’s genius, warmth and experience shone through the technical difficulties we had during the session! Loving eyes and ears recommended to watch.)
This EmbraceRace webinar, Understanding Racial-Ethnic Identity Development, was held on May 23, 2017 as part of our ongoing, monthly series on topics at the overlap of race and raising kids.
Racial-Ethnic Identity Development is a HUGE topic and we were thankful that one of our favorite collaborators in this work, Dr. Sandra “Chap” Chapman, agreed to lead this overview of racial-ethnic identity models — how and why they were developed, and how to use them to understand our own racial-ethnic identity journeys and to support the happy, healthy and just development of the children in our lives. EmbraceRace co-founders, Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas, frame the discussion and facilitate Q & A.
It felt the familiar buzz of my phone in the pocket of my jeans as I walked with a friend back to my dormitory. A Snapchat? A GroupMe message? Maybe even a Facebook message? I fumbled for the slab of connectivity and glanced at the screen. Nothing. An email, I thought to myself, as I opened the phone with my thumbprint.
Recently, I joined more than 1,000 people in Park Slope, Brooklyn at a community meeting convened to resist Trump’s agenda. One of the speakers was Hebh Jamal, a 17-year-old Muslim student who led a citywide student walkout to protest the travel ban and Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
She’s also a leader in the movement to desegregate New York City schools, among the most segregated in the country.
She looked out at the nearly all-white, upper-income crowd — which included many parents — and asked us to recognize ourselves and our children as beneficiaries of a rigged educational system. While this is a known and somewhat lamented fact in our liberal community, the silent room got a little more silent as we contemplated ourselves as both new resisters and longtime collaborators.
Race, humanity, and what I learned in high school.
About three years ago I saw an old friend in Boston. We had dated for about a year in graduate school, when we were in our mid-twenties, and on my visit she showed me photos of ourselves from two decades earlier.
“My god,” she said. “We were so young.” Her voice was full of awe, verging on incredulity. As if, over time, she had dismissed the possibility that we — she — could ever have been as young as the couple in the photos.
My response was a little different, more Shock than Awe. The younger me looked handsome. Attractive. Not just in a young-people-are-adorable kindaway, either. I’m talking total hottie.
Who knew? Not me when I actually was that guy, tell you what. A weird discovery to make so long after the fact. And here’s the other thing I realized in the moment: While I don’t see photos of my young-adult self often, I’m similarly surprised every time I do.
What’s up with that?
Administrators at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill, Florida recently fired a teacher who gave her sixth graders an assignment asking them to consider how “comfortable” they would be in the company of various people. Some of the 41 scenarios identified these “others” in terms of race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion.
Your new roommate is a Palestinian and Muslim.
A group of young Black men are walking toward you on the street.
The young man sitting next to you on the airplane is an Arab.
Your new suitemates are Mexican.
Your assigned lab partner is a fundamentalist Christian.Many Fox Hill students and parents were upset. “They’re kids. Let kids be kids. Why are they asking kids these questions?” one mother to a seventh-grade student wondered. “I just don’t think it’s something that needs to be brought in school.”
I have a friend who works at an elite private school here in SF. We talk a lot about race and children and talking to kids about race. As a White person, she is doing her best to make sure the children she educates are aware of the impact of race in their lives, especially as most of the children she teaches are White children.
She told us about a recent episode that happened at school. As part of an after school activity with a group of 3rd graders, kids were asked to describe their skin color. She told me the list of colors went something like this:
Peach, Peach, Tan, Chicken(!), Peach, Tan