With Patricia Taylor and Shannon Evans
Racism is everyone’s problem, and we all need to do our part to stand up against it. But talking about, or even thinking about racism can be a daunting task for many parents. Fear of making mistakes or offending others can hold them back from diving into this important topic. Fortunately, there are things parents can do to move past fear and into authentic action. Doing some “heart work” can equip parents to lead their families to stand up against racism together.
In this workshop, parents are invited to watch short videos and consider questions to help them reflect on how they might practice the ideas and strategies in their own lives. Some of these questions may not be easy to answer, and that’s okay—the hard work is worth it!
More about our guests:
The videos in this workshop feature Patricia Taylor and Shannon Evans, mothers of young children who are passionate about creating a kinder, safer, more equitable world for future generations. Read more about Patricia and Shannon here, and watch the full conversation right here.
Lifelong Journey, Lifelong Learning
Grappling with racism and its impact on ourselves, others, and our society is a process. In this video, Patricia encourages us to think of it as a lifelong journey, one that will take honesty, humility, and resilience! Thinking of ourselves as lifelong learners can help us take mistakes in stride and commit to doing better every day.
Watch the video, then consider these guiding questions:
- What kind of world do I envision for my children’s future? What are my hopes and dreams for them?
- What does a “posture of learning” mean to me?
- What mistakes am I afraid of making? When have I made mistakes and learned from them?
- What are some beliefs I previously held and changed? What things, people, or ideas have helped me grow?
Talking with Children
Talking about race and racism isn’t always comfortable, but it is necessary. There are ways parents can have difficult conversations, even with young children.
- Watch the video to hear why these conversations matter.
- Read the article “Never Too Young: Ages and Stages of Racial Understanding” to consider developmentally appropriate ways to introduce concepts around race and racism. You might print a copy, mark the age of your child, and keep it as a reminder of where to start.
- Explore how you can incorporate themes of empathy and identity into your family’s everyday moments.
- To build empathy, ask questions to help children consider others’ experiences. These questions might start with, “How would I feel if…?” and “How do you think that person feels?
- Encourage a positive self-identity in your young children. Together, finish these sentences: “I am proud of…” “I feel confident when…” “I am good at…”
Ideas for Families
Talking about race and racism is important. Taking action is, too. There are things parents can do to help their families diversify their homes, routines, and experiences.
- Watch the video to hear how Patricia and Shannon share the ways they prioritize representation and diversity in their homes.
- Reflect on these questions to help you put the strategies into action.
- Do the things we welcome into our home—art, TV shows, books—reflect a variety of skin colors and protagonist characters?
- Do we take outings to places outside of our usual “bubble” to meet new people and have new experiences as a family?
- How do we already celebrate diversity? What are we doing well that we might build upon?
Finding Your First Steps
Creating change in our families, communities, and broader world takes all of us working to do our best each day. In this video, Patricia encourages us to simply start where we are, leveraging our interests and passions as opportunities to weave in this important work. Watch the video and then commit to taking your first step!