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Britt Hawthorne, a mom of 2 boys and author Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide, says that raising antiracist kids requires teaching them to identify unfairness.
It includes incorporating an anti-bias lens when doing, well, almost anything. Britt’s oldest son was about 12 years old when his homework required him to imagine he was a colonist in Jamestown or Plymouth and write a letter to relatives back home in England. The boy completed the work as assigned, but his mom took it a bit farther.
“Who do you think this assignment is centering?” she asked. “Who had cousins in England in 1620?” Forced labor and human trafficking was ongoing and common at the time; the lesson contained no mention of either of those things. “I wonder,” she said to her, “what information is left out of this story?”
We can all help our kids learn to identify unfairness and erasure. And we can show them how to take action and drive change.
You can start by challenging and changing your language. Consider using “people of the global majority” instead of “BIPOC” or “people of color;” after all, at least 80% of the humans on this planet are not white.
In this episode, Janet, & Britt discuss:
- Diversity, justice, & systemic inequities
- Responding to racist behavior in the classroom (and elsewhere)
- Educational racism
- Choosing homeschooling when available education options aren’t serving your kids
- Challenging and expanding lessons, assignments, and narratives that only focus one group
- Embracing differences
- Answering kids’ tough questions
- Differentiating between “uncomfortable” and “unsafe” — & learning to lean into uncomfortable
- Language shifts that can help decenter white-ness (Example: “people of the global majority” instead of “BIPOC” or “people of color’)
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide — Britt’s book
britthawthorne.com — Britt’s website (includes links to her blog, antiracism workshops, & lots of free info)
Addressing Racism & Racial Disparities with Hilary Beard — ON BOYS episode
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