Trying to Breathe

I’m going to be brief in my editor’s letter this month. It’s not ok. I’m not ok. It is hard to put into words all the emotions that I am feeling in response to current events. I imagine there are many of you who share in this experience. Outrage is a complex emotion and beneath the outrage is a sense of heartbreak. Heartbreak that in the year 2020, we are still seeing the dehumanization and disregard for the lives of entire swaths of people from our community. Unfortunately it is not surprising. This country has a long and sordid history of violence against minorities. As filmmaker Spike Lee aptly said in a recent interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, “The United States of America is founded upon stealing the land from native people and genocide, coupled with slavery…I am not condoning (the looting and violence) but I understand why people are doing what they are doing.”

With this in mind, it is time to once again talk to our children about what is going on in the country and maybe by doing so we can better understand and fight racism in the United States. Here are some resources to pull from:

Anti-racism resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020

Faculty/Staff Recommendations for Diversity/Equity/Inclusion compiled by Shea Martin in 2019

#DisruptTexts by KQED’s Mindshift

Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News and Talking to Kids About George Floyd by the Child Mind Institute

Talking Race with Young Children and How to Talk About Race NPR Podcasts

Beyond the Golden Rule, a parents guide by Tolerance.org

And for those whose children are involved in summer reading programs, there are many books to include for your child’s summer reading that can educate them on issues of social justice. Social Justice Books publishes well curated booklists bracketed out by age and reading level.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

~ Nelson Mandela

Stay strong. In solidarity and gratitude,

Anouck & Maki

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