Dear Boston Families,
I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to those who responded to my message last week about doing more to confront and fight racism — especially if you look like me. Many of you wrote back asking what you could do as a white person. I have been asking myself the same question.
What I have learned is that anti-racist conversations need to take place in our homes and classrooms. They matter. These conversations must be as important to white families as they are to African American families and to all families of color. Once these conversations start, they need to continue on a regular basis. As white people, we must take on this work recognizing that we are late to this fight, and that our black and brown neighbors are weary from fighting their entire lives.
If you don’t feel comfortable prompting conversations about race and racism, here are some resources to help.
- Knowing the vocabulary and the definitions for starting conversations is critical. This page from the National Museum of African American History & Culture website is devoted to talking about race. Related resources include:
- Among the resources aimed at educating children on race and racism, we suggest:
- Wee the People, a locally based social justice project for kids with resources that include workshops for children and adults as well as reading lists.
- Teaching Tolerance, Don’t Say Nothing, which includes lesson plans, professional development resources, and publications.
- Prettygooddesign.org shares Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race, a resource round-up that includes podcasts and readings from various sources including National Public Radio, Sesame Street, and others.
In closing, I once again write with humility knowing that I have not done enough and I must do more as a white person to be antiracist and to aid in the work towards systemic change.
John R. Connolly