Anti-Racist Actions to Take With Your Kids Today
When it comes to discussing complicated and emotional things like racism with your kids, it’s natural to feel anxious about doing it right. Some parents worry that talking about topics like racism too early is unnecessary or even harmful, but it turns out children notice race as early as preschool. Early introduction to this topic is absolutely crucial. It is important to remember that parents’ silence on racism actually reinforces it.
We have a beautifully diverse community at Crayon Power, but systemic racism is the air we breathe as a culture and we need to actively work to raise the next generation to see it as it is and work alongside them to deconstruct the powers that be.
I found this list from Boston-based kids' social justice group Wee the People and thought it was a wonderfully age-appropriate list of activities geared towards stopping the silence and starting the needed conversations. All words below are copied directly from Wee the People:
SIDEWALK CHALK ART: Talk with kids and neighbors and create some bold, artful messaging for everyone who walks by. What do you want them to know and do right now? What kind of change do you want to see in the world?
SIGN-MAKING: Invite children and neighbors to make signs and post them for the community to see.
TOY PROTEST: Make mini-protest signs with tape and small pieces of paper. Grab your stuffies, action figures, and dolls and give them their own voice about what needs to change.
8-WORD PROTEST POEM: As multi-generational as it gets: Invite young and old to create poems as long or short as feels right, incorporating the following EIGHT WORDS that resonate with this moment: POWER * JUSTICE * UNITY * CIRCLE * LISTEN * STAND * HEAL * RESPECT
CANDLES: Light a candle (or several) for the Black and Brown lives impacted and lost to the pandemic, to racism, and to White supremacist ideology.
PLAYLIST PROTEST: Make/share a playlist of protest songs in honor of Black and Brown lives. Send us a youtube video of the protest song that most speaks to this moment and Wee will post it! Wee will also be posting/sharing our own faves throughout the day.
SAY THEIR NAMES: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd -- each one of them belonged to their own loved ones, their own families, their own communities. Design their names in chalk, in a notebook, on a T-shirt, with a paintbrush. Let the world know that their lives mattered.