There’s a lot of things that I know I will never understand about racism and the fear and burdens that people of color have to face in our country.
One thing I do know though is that I am grateful that I grew up in a town that is culturally diverse. I’m so thankful that I grew up surrounded by people from literally all over the world. I learned about different races, cultures, and religions directly from people that I called friends. I learned that it doesn’t matter what you look like, what god you worship, who you love, or where you were born. What matters most is the heart inside of you.
These are lessons that I am so grateful that I get to pass on to my daughter.
I know there are so many of us who want to help. Who want to know what we can do. I know that one of the best things we can do is to have an open dialogue with our children.
We talk openly to Madeline about what is going on in our world. We’ve had some deep conversations (well as deep as you can get with a six year old) about what racism is. About what happened to George Floyd and so many others. We have talked about how it’s important to stand up for our friends and to always choose to be kind.
These conversations aren’t always easy. It’s hard to always know how much is enough to tell her without overwhelming or scaring her. So many of her friends are black and I don’t want her to be worried that something will happen to them simply because their skin is a darker shade than hers. That’s a lot for a tiny person to take on.
One easy way to start a conversation with your little ones is through books. Representation is so important. These are a few of our favorite books that feature persons of color. We love the little dreamers series and books that show the amazing beauty, talents, and wisdom of people from many different races and cultures.
Friends, I know we need to do more. I know we need to be better. I know we need to be the change.
I’m hoping that these seemingly small things are a good starting point.