“Overcoming Obstacles to Create Community” is an initiative of the Women’s Voices’ Racial Justice Committee. Each month, we’ll provide timely, concrete ideas and suggestions you can include in your daily lives.
September – Teach Acceptance
It’s true what the song says: “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.” Bias is learned early, often at home. Here are some ways you and your children can learn to be more accepting.
- Encourage your child’s school and teachers to counter bias and racism. Several years ago, a St. Louis high school expelled students for racial slurs they placed on Facebook. To prevent such incidents, teachers can access resources to teach tolerance. The Southern Poverty Law Center offers free resources to K-12 classroom teacher across the country.
- Educators for Social Justice is an organization whose mission is to develop and support socially just, equitable, and sustainable practices in schools and communities.
- Ideas for parents and grandparents:
- Examine your children’s textbooks and the curricula to determine if the material is equitable and multicultural.
- Expose your child or grandchild to multicultural experiences…buy or get books from the library that feature children of all races and many cultures. The EyeSeeMe bookstore in University City is a great resource for books that feature People of Color. Take your children to the Festival of Nations and other such events, involve them in churches and other organizations that are multiracial and multicultural. Take them to the St. Louis Art Museum and look at works created by Black artists. Read books and articles written by Black authors.
- Check out We Stories, an organization that aims to get white families talking about race and racism.
- When age-appropriate, talk to your children about what is going on in the world. They see posts on social media, read the headlines or watch television. Talk to them about how, when and why Black people encounter racism. Ask them for their thoughts about these episodes.