Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Through Intention and Love, We Can Create Positive Change

Throughout Jesus’ time on Earth, he stood with those who were hurting and those who were silenced. Jesus showed us how to love one another and we are called to do His work today and every day.

I know I have much work to do to walk in His ways. I have blind spots where I don’t understand what others have gone through or I don’t have accurate information to be an ally. But I have a desire to learn, to become a better ally, and to help guide my children to a more equitable future.

It’s important that we have open conversations, no matter how uncomfortable, to address racism and white privilege. I believe that by becoming informed about systems, gaining understanding of communal experiences, and then putting that knowledge and our resources into actions, we can dismantle racism.

As a parent, one of my most important roles is to educate my children by laying a path that leads to better days ahead. While digging into a variety of resources to educate myself, I’ve also been seeking resources that are kid-friendly that can help me have conversations with my kids. 

Our presbytery has a team called “Dismantling Racism and Privilege,” which helped share many kid-friendly resources that help explain systemic racism and how kids can recognize and stop racism. I’ve been sifting through many of them myself so that I can have meaningful conversations with my 5 and 8-year-old. Whether you have begun to have these conversations, or have been waiting for the right time, I hope you’ll take some time to check these out.

Resources for Working with Your Kids
Resources to Get Yourself Started: 
· Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources – Find tailored resources to meet you wherever you are on your journey to becoming an ally. 
· The History of Elijah Lovejoy – This shares the history of our presbytery’s namesake, Elijah Lovejoy, a Presbyterian who published editorials condemning slavery and was killed by an angry mob. 
· Implicit Bias Test – In this site, you can you report your attitudes or beliefs in a test to assess your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics.

Other Ways Your Family Can Support Our Black Neighbors: 

· Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson
· The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
· Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
· We're Different, We're the Same by Bobbi Kates
· Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Find a list of more age-appropriate books in this article “Anti-racism Resources for Parents and Kids” by Healthline. There are also a variety of excellent books about diversity.

Our community is blessed with some bookstores doing amazing work in sharing leading books focused on dismantling racism and justice for all. 

One of the best ways to build empathy and a willingness to listen to diverse people’s stories is through intentional exposure to diverse books, movies, and stories. Consider how you are connecting with others through social media, your work, and your community. And may we all use these resources and tools to discover and learn, and to take actions to dismantle racism and white privilege so that all of God’s children can be created as equals.

Shelley Lester
Elder of Children’s Ministry and mother of two

No comments:

Post a Comment