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  • Writer's pictureMallory G Foster

Anti-Racist Learning Resources x Month in Moments - June '20 Edition

Sooooo... it's June 17th so this is half a month late, and I hope you noticed that the Month in

Moment calendars are now linked on the home page under the services bar (the fact that that took so many words to describe means it might have been hard to find... soooo I'll work on that, AND, follow me on Instagram for faster updates (@watchwonderbloom)). I want to start off this post by amplifying the voices of amazing Black people and a few equity-focused/anti-bias/anti-racist organizations I'm learning from as I take steps to be more than an anti-racist ally. Then, I'll share a brief overview of the calendar if you haven't dug into it yet!

People, Books, and Organizations to Learn From

  • Britt Hawthorne, Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist Educator: I've been following Britt's work for a while on Instagram and recently became a member (or whatever it's called) on Patreon. She makes helpful points in simple terms that help me feel empowered. She also helps schools and companies create Justice Pages like the one here that has a wealth of great resources. On Patreon, Britt compiles some amazinggggg resources and hosts insightful webinars.

  • Krissy Coggins, Positive Discipline Educator: Krissy's work is awesome! She's releasing a guided discussion journal for parents and kiddos this week and I'm so excited to use it! As a coach, I'm learning a lot from Krissy. She asks the perfect questions and shares responses with thoughtful feedback that has helped me do more introspective work.

  • The Educational Equity Institute: This organization, run by Dr. Ebonyse Mead and Dr. Jen Neitzel, works to re-imagine systemic racism inherent in our educational system. I'm excited to learn from the Color Brave webinar. The organization runs free Equity Cafes open to the public. I'm participating in one now and learning a lot. Dr. Mead presented two sessions at the Family Life Coaching Association Conference that helped me refresh and deepen my knowledge of systemic racism, implicit biases, and more. Dr. Neitzel wrote an awesome post about talking to kiddos about race/racism. I think it is easy to fall into the trap of saying, "I'm not racist" and thinking, then, that we don't have to have tough conversations or do a lot of thinking and work on this topic. But, Dr. Neitzel reminds us to focus on systemic racism, not only individual racism.

  • Roots and Wings by Stacey York: Dr. Mead suggested this book when I mentioned I worked with young kids. It's a textbook for early childhood education with a wealth of meaningful activity ideas.

  • EmbraceRace: This organization seeks to create a "brave generation". The resource guides, action steps, discussion tips, and webinars are all GREAT tools! For parents with younger kiddos, there are some great resources on when kiddos start to notice differences as that is an important time to make sure you are talking about race and how we treat others.

From these resources, the most important thing I'm learning to remember is that as a mama and educator, my job is to first do my adult work. I need to do what I can to fight systemic racism and to be an anti-racist person, parent, educator. While it is my job to raise an anti-racist kiddo, that MUST come second to me doing my own work. We cannot ask the children in our lives to be better people than we are. I've also learned that it's not helpful to racialize things that are simply observations by young kiddos. If a kiddo says, "Oh, she's brown like ____" and I go into "ehhhh...shame/panic/OMG I'm raising a racist, I need to shut down this discussion" mode, I am communicating that race is shameful and that perpetuates racism because it makes it harder for adults and kiddos to talk about what they see and feel - and we will see racism and we will have biases that we need to avoid letting fester and evolve into discrimination and racism. I grew up labeling myself as "Irish Italian", not white. I still feel funky labeling people by color, which is ridiculous. So, using kids' books has helped me get more comfortable talking about our similarities and differences rather than avoiding the topic.

The Month in Moments Calendar

This is a hard time to show up and be present as the adults in kiddos lives. So, this month, I focused again on simple tasks - trying yoga poses, making a number line you can walk, designing a pet. And I focused on building our families’ capacities to have discussions that grow with our kiddos. As a white mama, the conversations I will have as I strive to raise an anti-racist kiddo in an anti-racist family may sound very different than the conversations our country’s racist systems necessitate for your family. I think at the core of growing as a family in these turbulent times are the abilities to listen, to be proud of our strengths while acknowledging where we need to grow, and the compassion to raise each other up. This month’s calendar incorporates those skills. ⁣I wanted to offer tools we could use to transition back into the present moment with our kiddos, so you’ll see mindful tasks like yoga poses, breathing techniques, and making a mindful treasure box.⁣

You can download the calendar here!

Take a look at the resources and calendar above. What's one new idea you want to use this month? Comment and share or share a picture of what you're up to on social media! Please tag @watchwonderbloom or use #watchwonderbloom.

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