The world is a little scary right now, right? If its scary for grown-ups, I know it has to be even harder for our littles trying to learn & navigate this world. As mothers, we cannot shield them from all of the negativity and fear & hate this world has to offer. Giving them the tools to learn & know about how this world works, & how we can change it, starts with a more diverse & in depth education that addresses & represents all cultures, all races, & all ethnicities with accurate history & positive depiction.
Why Anti-Racist Education is the Most Important Thing We Can Do For Our Kids Right Now:
Because They Notice Race, Anyway:
Because our children are, ideally, human beings with functioning eyes to see with, its only natural that our kids would notice the different shapes, sizes & colors of the people around them. They see & take note of complexion & facial features & hair texture just like you and I do so its only fair that we give them the tools to normalize & express what they are saying in a way that is healthy, kind & polite to those around them. Every child should be comfortable verbally identifying their own race.
Because ALL of our children deserve to feel safe & represented in our school system:
As children grow, they look to examples in media & education. 73% of children's books feature white characters depicted as the main protagonist, with animals & trucks etc coming in second at 12%. Let that sink in. There are more books about Rabbits & Aliens & Cars than there are books about Native American, Latinx, Black & Asian or Pacific Islander children. Our children of color need better & more accurate representation in our classrooms. They deserve to see their history portrayed accurately & beautifully & find shoes that they can slip into via positive imagery of their own unique excellence, culture, & beauty.
Because the World Will Educate Them if We Don't: We currently live in a racist system. If we don't change the way we are raising & teaching our children, this world will continue to send a message to our children that the history, the culture, the education, the opportunities & even the joy of our children of color are less than those of white children. Lack of representation in our educational system, feeds systematic racism directly..
HOW WE MOVE FORWARD:
Access the education YOUR child is getting: Are there teachers of color at your child's school? Do they offer ethnic studies in the curriculum? Look at the posters hanging on the wall, or infographics or emails distributed by your school. Do you see imagery that represents students of color? If you're homeschooling: look at the terminology, imagery & diversity of your lesson plans. Where can you improve? What tools are you using to accurately portray history & accurately portray our beautiful diversity of our world?
Use Your Voice: if you feel your school could do better representing & serving students of color, (NEWS FLASH: we've all got a loooong ways to go at this point), get in touch with your teachers, your PTA & your principals & express your concerns. Lead the change. If you can volunteer to purchase, or spearhead fundraising efforts, to bring more diverse & anti-racist educational tools into the school. As always, you can donate to support getting anti-racist education into classrooms across this country, & all over the world through my World Changers Project or by donating directly to my venmo: @taimani-reed & you can purchase your own anti-racist art from my shop: here