In the darkness of the very early morning of November 9, 2016, my husband and I lay awake in our bed. By 3 a.m., we realized that neither of us would sleep again that morning, and we turned to each other and began talking. During those fraught early morning hours, we cycled through grief, anger, numbness, disgust, and then back through them again as many of our worst fears about our country became much more real.
My white husband cried at the now all-too-real prospect of nuclear conflict and of our now ten-year-old son and his peers going to war. Stunned, I replied, “You’re worried about THAT?” While nuclear war seemed much less far-fetched than it had the previous day, it was nowhere near the top of my list of immediate concerns. Rather, as a woman of color, I feared that overt acts of racism and hate crimes would be perpetrated close to home in our progressive, left-leaning Boston neighborhood.
When I explained this to my husband, he replied, “You’re worried about THAT? That won’t be an issue here. I don’t think you need to worry about that.”
A post about kids and costumes might seem out of season but I live in San Francisco; kids in costume are year-round here.
A little over a year ago, my mother-in-law got me a subscription to Parents magazine. Parents is not a magazine I would have subscribed to on my own.
Without much knowledge about the magazine, I assumed it offered a lot of mainstream, stereotypical, commercialized views on parenting, which it does, but it also provides some unexpected and thoughtful perspectives. I’ve been pleasantly surprised (thanks OMom!). For example, the first magazine I received included an article on parents raising transgendered children.
Check out this archived EmbraceRace Community Conversation with leaders of IntergrateNYC4Me. In New York City, home to among the most segregated schools in the country, IntegrateNYC4Me, this student-led effort, is pushing back hard against educational segregation and the inequities it represents in their city and across the country. Find out how, why, and what difference its made so far – both to the cause and to the student leaders themselves.
EmbraceRace's Andrew and Melissa facilitate a community conversation with IntegrateNYC4Me co-founder Sarah Camiscoli and with student leaders Matt Diaz and Hebh Jamal. An edited transcript and more resources follow.
Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression
Bearing witness to the insults and injuries of race.
I've got plenty of the usual shit-gets-tiresome Black-male stories to tell. The police cars that shadowed me as I walked across campus at night on Chicago’s South Side. The White male MA student who demanded that a departmental administrator explain how I got into the Political Science PhD program when he didn’t. The elderly White people who assumed I was the elevator operator. The tightly-clutched purses, waaay too many to count, accompanied by a lips-pressed determination to avoid eye contact with me.
To varying degrees, each of those incidents shook me at the time. There have been many. Just last week my mother reminded me about the time two White women chose to walk down the middle of the street, literally, rather than pass me on the sidewalk at night. It was my first year of college, I was 18. You were so hurt, she says.
An interview with Dr. Lisa Gutierrez Wang.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a 2012 executive order that enabled undocumented people who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 to register for temporary protection from deportation and for a work permit, renewable every two years.
On Monday, President Trump announced via Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the program has been discontinued. DACA protections will not be withdrawn for any recipient, but after March they will not be renewed unless Congress takes legislative action.
We at EmbraceRace are very aware that this decision will lead to tremendous anxiety for many children. We turned to San Francisco’s Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) for advice about how parents and caregivers can help children and youth navigate this issue. I sat down with Dr. Lisa Gutierrez Wang, CYW’s Director of Clinical Programs, to get her wisdom.
Wanting to Give the World to My Children (Or, How It Felt to Send My Black Son and Daughter Abroad This Summer)
When I was nervous about sending my oldest son, Rory, to preschool, I came across a quotation, attributed to writer, Elizabeth Stone, that captured a feeling I’d had since becoming a mother but hadn’t been able to articulate: “Making the decision to have a child — it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
Her words acutely described the vulnerability I felt in loving another person so fiercely that I made bargains with the universe about his safety and well-being: “Throw anything at me. I can handle anything that comes my way — except losing this child or having something terrible happen to him.” This was the sort-of-prayer, or exercise in magical thinking, that I indulged in as a young mother determined to protect Rory and guide him safely and whole through his life and into adulthood.
“Don’t worry, pretty lady. I’ll make sure to use a good, strong lock to keep the niggers out.”
He smiled. I blinked. Fifteen years ago, I was moving into my third-floor condo in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. I’d hired a neighborhood locksmith to re-key the locks. The place was the size of a postage stamp but it was all mine and it had an extraordinary view. Below me was a lush courtyard where weddings took place. If I stood on my tiptoes, carefully leaned over the wooden dish rack with mismatched dishes and looked out my tiny kitchen window, I could see the Mississippi River.
As the locksmith worked in the open doorway, the trilling chords of the calliope from a steamboat clung to the cold river air and crossed the threshold, drifting inside, chilling the room.
Enjoy this hour-long conversation between EmbraceRace and the founders of Kitaab World, Gauri Manglik and Sadaf Siddique, recorded on August 22nd, 2017. Anyone advising, raising, mentoring kids to be resilient, inclusive, informed and active social justice advocates will appreciate the resources they're developed - we do!
Gauri and Sadaf started KitaabWorld to provide a platform for parents, teachers and librarians to get access to multicultural children's books in the US, and to make diverse books more mainstream. They have focused mainly but not exclusively on books featuring characters of South Asian descent and/or South Asian cultures and religious traditions.
A mom recounts the experience of counter-protesting
This piece was written by Patty Nourse Culbertson, who was in Charlottesville as a nonviolent resistor to Unite The Right. It is powerful. The only amendments to what she wrote are some added subheadings and paragraph breaks, and minor edits for the sake of clarity.
Patty says, “I posted this in response to some criticism of our town on a wonderful post that Dan Rather wrote” on Facebook. She then posted her response to her FB page, and a mutual friend shared it this morning. In less than 9 hours it had been shared 117 times. Multiply that out and it’s getting a lot of views, fast
ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM
PARENTING & MENTORING
RACE + ...
RACIAL & ETHNIC IDENTITY
SCHOOLS & EDUCATION
TALKING ABOUT RACE WITH KIDS