Have you or your children been getting a lot of requests from your white friends for resources about Black history and the struggle for racial justice these days? It is exhausting, trying to deal with your own and your family’s reactions to everything going on AND having your well meaning but less woke white friends relying on you to tell them what they need to know.
Or would you like to know more, because until recently you have been more focused on avoiding Covid-19 and working and educating your children while in lockdown (Did I already say this was exhausting?).
Whatever the reason, here are some resources you may find helpful to review/share:
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Led by the brilliant Bryan Stevenson, EJI is on a mission to change the narrative about race in America. Their website is rich with resources that educate us about the need to change this narrative and how we can do it. Click on the sections describing their work for the overview; go to their Education section to go deep on a variety of topics.
Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protest:This brief New Yorker Q & A with Stevenson gives you a primer on the issues and highlights his amazing ability to “make it plain” as he explains issues and offer solutions.
Trevor Noah: George Floyd and the Dominos of Racial Injustice: This 18 minute monologue by Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show”, is worth waiting through the various commercial interruptions to watch in its entirety. Noah’s perceptive take on why things have escalated in recent weeks will have you nodding throughout, and give you lots of food for thought. This is a smart guy with a lot to say.
Organizations to Support:
There are a lot of organizations battling racial injustice that need support. Here are a couple to consider that you may not already know; we’ll be adding to this list.
Anti-Racism Fund (ARF) – ARF is a fund put together by a small group of young people of color (in their 20’s) who want to promote change by supporting organizations that are already on the ground and actively doing so. Starting a few days ago with the goal of raising $40,000 to support 4 organizations: the NAACP Legal Defense Fund LDF) , The Bail Project, Reclaim Minnesota and The Loveland Project (supporting mental health for Black women and girls), the fund has already raised over $210,000! Full disclosure, my son Carter Lewis is one of the founders and I am having a serious proud mommy moment.
Equal Justice Initiative: As noted above, EJI is on a mission to change the narrative about race, and they are attacking that mission from so many impressive fronts. They provide legal services to the wrongfully incarcerated, they produce groundbreaking research reports for policymaking, advocacy, and education. They do so much more, including building and running the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which is dedicated to confronting the legacy of racial terror against African Americans in the U.S. More than 600,000 people have visited these sites since they opened in Alabama in 2018
For the Younger Set:
CNN Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism: In this special, which aired today on CNN, Elmo, Big Bird, and other Sesame Street friends talk about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding. Did you and your children miss it or want to see it again? You can watch it here.
Here Wee Read: You’ll find lots of great recommendations for diverse children’s books on this Instagram site started by a mom who wanted to make sure her children saw themselves as they learned to read.
The Brown Bookshelf: This website promotes Black voices writing for young readers. Be sure to check out their recent post, KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives: Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families, and Educators to find lots of great resources.
Please also remember that stories about Black people and our history are NOT ONLY stories of our pain and persecution, although there are many of those stories. Our stories are also about strength, innovation, and joy, and how we go about seeking these things, just like the rest of the human race does. Please make sure to include these stories in whatever resources you are sharing and discussions you are having. Especially when you are sharing them with our children.