When George Floyd called out for his mama, I felt that I was called too. I have been listening, I have cried, and I know that I must do better going forward. I am ashamed to say that I knew and understood very little about modern-day racism. I’m not good at talking about it yet, but I’m working on it. From today on, I want to be a vocal advocate in the anti-racism movement and to raise activist children. Being a stay-at-home mom with lots of littles I need to find ways that I can support and show up for the anti-racism movement from home. It turns out there are many things I can do to help.
Here are 5 Ways to Support the Anti-Racism Movement From Home
1. Reflect on and build awareness about the history of oppression and white supremacy.
I am starting my work with myself. There is so much that I need to learn about modern-day racism/oppression and white privilege. I am listening to Black Moms, I am reading articles and books and watching documentaries. I started with a great list of content from Illana Wiles of Mommy Shorts: 47 Shows, Books, Podcasts, and People to Follow to Help Educate Yourself on Racism. 13th on Netflix is incredibly thought-provoking and eye-opening. It traces the criminalization of African Americans back to the 13th Amendment. I have also watched Just Mercy, another powerful movie that’s about Civil Rights attorney Bryan Stevenson and his focus on prison reform and racial justice. (It is free to rent on many streaming services this month.) I know that some anti-racism books are sold out online, but many local libraries have increased their number of digital copies.
2. Talk to your children often and intentionally about inclusivity and race.
In our house, we talk to our kids all the time about being kind to and including everyone, but we haven’t talked about it much in the context of race. We have been having lots of meaningful conversations with our kids about recent events. I want to continue to do that by reading books about diversity and learning about black history. Having my kids understand the meaning of white privilege and how they can use that to help others, is important to me.
- Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism (A Town Hall for Kids & Families) from CNN and Sesame Street is a great place to start.
- PBS KIDS for Parents provides articles and resources for talking to young children about race and racism, including an hour-long webinar with tips from experts.
3. Vote, sign petitions, and stay informed.
Now is the time to be active in our political system. VOTE in local and national elections. I have been following these groups to stay informed and sign petitions:
4. Diversify your children’s book collection and toys.
After looking around our house I realized that we have very few books with main characters of color and no multicultural toys. Reading with your kids is such an awesome way to get informed and start conversations about race. I know there are many lists with recommendations for children’s books that address race and racism. Just a reminder there isn’t just ONE perfect book (i.e. Amazon’s #1 rated or a celebrity-endorsed book) you need to have. There are so many books that can help you talk to your kids. This list of 33 Children’s Books about Race and Black History is a great place to start. In addition to diversifying our home library, I will also be looking into diversifying our toys. This Favorite Collection of Diversity Tools and Toys article is geared towards early childhood education teachers but it has lots of great toy ideas for families too.
5. Support local BIPOC businesses.
Money does talk. Another way to make an ongoing difference is to support local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) businesses. We often buy or choose products based on convenience. I will definitely be more thoughtful about where we are buying items (i.e. supporting local black-owned bookstores like Mahogany Books) or our next takeout dinner. Here are a few guides to local black-owned businesses in the DMV.
- Angela Malik, a local foodie, has a list of Black-owned restaurants in the DMV on her blog Feed the Malik.
- The Best Father’s Day Gifts from Local Black Owned Businesses from our site.
- On Yelp DC you can search for Black-owned businesses in the DMV.
Moms are the strongest people I know, together we can change the world. We have the opportunity to change the narrative of our country’s race story; where that begins is in our homes. I understand that change like this will take persistent hard work and moms are experts at doing hard things.