Considering the recent events, I wanted to address the topic of racism and how we as a community can educate our children to be “woke” individuals. As Jersey City residents, we are fortunate that we live in the most diverse city and that our children are exposed to many cultural backgrounds, however, silence is what kept previous generations from repeating the same mistakes and in order to expect change we have to begin educating our children by speaking out. Here are some resources to help you get started.
There are endless books geared towards developing racial cultural literacy. There is a young Instagrammer, @50states50books, who shares her recommendations of diverse books for children and provides free books for families who are deserving.
Helpful link for diverse books: https://www.embracerace.org/resources/where-to-find-diverse-childrens-books
Share stories of freedom fighters and the resistance and resilience they imbued. Some of the most important freedom fighters were young people. Children have been an instrumental in exposing the struggles of racial injustices. Teach them about Ruby Bridges and Claudette Colvin. This will open the dialogue and will allow your children to ask questions and talk freely.
A list of Freedom Fighters: https://www.thenorthstar.com/29-freedom-fighters/
Become an active member of the community in promoting positive change. There are many ways to do this: Support businesses of color, support leaders and politicians who align with these core values and donate to organizations that are tirelessly working towards these efforts. Here are some links to lend your voice:
Set an example
Our behavior is what ultimately resonates with children. They are constantly watching us and observing our behavior. How we treat people is noticed and repeated by our children.
No Matter What—Keep Talking
White privilege, racism, and police brutality are not conversations you can have once and stop there. This has to be a repeated discussion. Even if conversations don’t go quite as you planned, make sure to keep talking to your kids. They may not understand everything now, but eventually as they older and are privy to their environment, they will slowly get it.
Here are some educational links to help guide you on this topic: