The people who carry on Family and Home Network’s work are committed to continuing to learn how to be anti-racist. We know this is not a quick fix project – but it is an essential task of our times. Parents must talk with their children and teens not only about anti-racism but also about hate groups, including white nationalism - there is rampant spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, mixed with racist propaganda.
These are some resources we've found helpful, for people of various ages and various stages of understanding or engaging.
Critical Race Theory is the latest hot-button issue used to stir up division and anger. The NAACP says: "The term “critical race theory” has been co-opted by opponents as a catch-all and rallying cry to silence any discussions about systemic racism, ban the truthful teaching of American history, and reverse progress toward racial justice." See their FAQ on Critical Race Theory page for information and resources. Their map shows the states that have already passed laws that result in books being pulled from school libraries and teachers being banned from discussing a wide range of topics including systematic racism past and present. One resource they link to, the African American Policy Forum, launched a social media campaign - #TruthBeTold - they offer more great resources. We must not look away from this dangerous challenge. Essayist Meg Conley offers a powerful personal reflection in I guess we're burning books now. As she says: "Book burning is always about the power to limit dialogue."
Building Resilience & Confronting Risk in the COVID-19 Era: A Parents and Caregivers Guide to Online Radicalization - a free resource from the American University's Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center. "This toolkit offers parents and caregivers strategies and tips to recognize the warning signs of youth radicalization as well as new risks in the COVID-19 era, understand the drivers and grievances that create susceptibility to extremist rhetoric, and intervene more effectively." They add: "Preventing online radicalization is about more than just recognizing and avoiding risks. It’s also about building resiliency and strengthening a sense of belonging and identity so that youth are less vulnerable or susceptible to extremist rhetoric." This guide offers parents and teens knowledge, strategies, and a list of resources for getting help is someone you know seems at risk of radicalization.
Community Healing Network - For decades, we’ve admired and sometimes been fortunate enough to work with Enola Aird, Esq. as she directed several projects that tackled mothering issues. A lawyer, maternal feminist and visionary leader, Enola is the founder and president of Community Healing Network (CHN). She writes:
“For more than 600 years, people of African ancestry have been seen as less than human because of the lie of White superiority and Black inferiority. That lie was devised to justify the enslavement of African people and the economic exploitation of Africa. It objectified and dehumanized Black people, and now permeates nearly every institution of global society and the global mind.
Every person of African ancestry born over the course of the last six centuries has come into a world that profoundly devalues our lives. The advantages conferred by “Whiteness” and the disadvantages imposed by “Blackness” have been multiplying for all of that time.
Marches and calls for justice are necessary, but not sufficient to end the relentless assaults on Black bodies, minds, and spirits. Until we, Black people, address the root cause of our dehumanization, the attacks will keep coming.
We need to wage a much larger struggle. We need to heal from and extinguish the lie, and in so doing reclaim our dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry. We call on people of African ancestry and people of good conscience everywhere to join us on the path to creating a new world free of the lie of Black inferiority.”
Collaborating with the Association of Black Psychologists, Community Healing Network offers Emotional Emancipation Circles throughout the U.S. and around the world. In her February 2020 blog post, Making 2020-2030 the Decade to Embrace the Truth of Black Humanity, Enola writes:
"Community Healing Network’s mission is to mobilize the Black community to ‘reclaim our dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry.’ We are intent on making 2020 to 2030 the decade to ‘Embrace the Truth of Black Humanity.’
Our job here at CHN is to keep providing the resources to help our community free itself from the most powerful weapon ever formed against our humanity: the lie that Black people are inferior.
Our job is also to help cultivate a renewed understanding of the African view of humanity as expressed in the communal concepts of Ubuntu (‘I am, because we are.’) and Sawubona (‘I see you in the deepest sense possible.’), which is distinct from the Western view, driven by the radically individualistic idea of ‘I think, therefore I am.’”
The founding chair of CHN’s Board of Advisors, Dr. Maya Angelou, said, "Let's show our collective determination to turn the pain of the blues into the sky blue of unlimited possibilities."
Mocha Moms, Inc. – We are grateful to Cheli English-Figaro, Esq. for reaching out to connect with FAHN decades ago. Cheli introduced us to the national nonprofit organization she co-founded, Mocha Moms, Inc., which “provides support for women of color as they journey through all phases of motherhood while advocating for them nationally. Mocha Moms, Inc. also encourages the spirit of community activism and service among its members.” With chapters throughout the U.S., Mocha Moms Inc. members also have access to nation-wide networks on specific topics, special events and an online forum. In 2016 Mocha Moms Inc. issued a Call to the Nation’s Law Enforcement Officials; a few weeks ago they reissued the letter. Cheli is currently National Board member and National President Emerita of Mocha Moms, Inc. and consulting Communications Specialist to FAHN.
Parenting for Liberation - Founded by Trina Greene Brown, this is "a virtual community that connects, inspires, and uplifts Black folks as they navigate and negotiate raising Black children within the social and political context of the US." Trina hosts a podcast she describes as "a mix of kitchen counter, living room couch style conversations." Powerful ideas emerge, and Trina skillfully weaves parents' stories into her new book, Parenting for Liberation: "Speaking directly to parents raising Black children in a world of racialized violence, this guidebook combines powerful storytelling with practical exercises, encouraging readers to imagine methods of parenting rooted in liberation rather than fear." White readers can gain empathy and understanding of the challenges facing Black parents as well as great insights on parent/child relationships and community. Trina Greene Brown writes with a generous, open spirit and invites readers to participate in learning and joy.
Alliance for Self-Directed Education – Much has been written about schools and systematic problems. On this page about anti-racism, we are including the topic of self-directed education for its challenge to the 'system' of education. The Alliance asks: “What if we provided children with “the resources that would allow their curiosity, playfulness, and other natural ways of learning to flourish?” They are dedicated to “normalizing and legitimizing self-directed education, to making it available to everyone who seeks it.” In Racial Equity in Self-Directed Education ASDE “highlights some of the amazing Black women in Self-Directed Education, with links to their recent projects you can visit, revisit, and support.”
Black Lives Matter Global Network (“BLM”) was founded in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
Beau of the Fifth Column – Some adults or older teens might find these videos a compelling way to engage in current topics. Direct, no-frills commentary, recorded in a garage: "The thoughts of a southern journalist who's tired of the lack of common sense in the world." Here is his short video on white privilege.
Common Sense Media offers articles, discussion guides, movie and book recommendations, and more, on all sorts of topics, searchable by child’s age. Here’s their gathering of resources on race and racism. See their "Parents Need to Know" articles about all kinds of media, cell phones and social media.
EmbraceRace - "founded in early 2016 by two parents (one Black, the other multiracial Black/White) who set out to create the community and gather the resources they needed (need!) to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters. [...] Since that time, EmbraceRace has grown into a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities. See "Children's books featuring kids of color being themselves. That's Enough!"
The Power of Discord: Why the Ups and Downs of Relationships are the Secret to Building Intimacy, Resilience and Trust – this book by Ed Tronick, PhD and Claudia M. Gold, MD, offers new understanding of human relationships – at a time when many of us are facing more conflict and messiness. It’s hopeful to learn that when there is discord, the moments of repair build brains and strengthen relationships – between parent and child, in other relationships throughout our lives, and in our society’s struggles. The authors write: “By listening, moving through the inevitable mismatch…. the discord itself offers opportunity to build a new society characterized by connection and a sense of belonging.”
Rebekah Gienapp - Raising Anti-Racist Kids: an age-by-age guide for parents of white children (ebook) - "Are you a parent or educator who believes that we can’t wait til kids are grown to talk to them about crucial issues like racism, sexism, poverty, and homophobia? Do you want to find age appropriate ways to not only talk about these things with kids, but take action together?" Rebekah offers resources, book lists, community and workshops for parents and teens.
Talking About Race - The National Museum of African-American History & Culture. "Let's Talk, Think and Act Together! [...] Issues of race are sometimes blatant and obvious, sometimes subtle and nuanced, and often difficult to confront. However, with commitment and caring, we can all play an important role in dismantling racism to create a more inclusive, just, and safe society. By committing to understanding and talking about race, all our lives will be better." Some resources are for the general public, others are designed especially for educators, and some for parents.
Teaching Black History - an article that includes many resources by journalist, speaker and advocate Kimberly Seals Allers. In addition to writing about parenting and cultural issues, Kimberly leads "... the movement to shift the paradigm, shift the discourse, shift the infrastructure and shift the experience of womankind and motherhood for all. And it all begins with the greatest public health issue of our time: breastfeeding and maternal and infant health." Kimberly is the author of "The Big Letdown: How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding and creator of the Irth app - "a 'Yelp-like' review & rating app for hospitals & physicians made by and for Black women & birthing people of color.”