We are parents and educators committed to a just and equitable society. This blog is a forum to share ideas and resources to help us teach our children and ourselves about social equity issues.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School Begins Again!

Hello Colleagues and Parents interested in social justice,
A big welcome to Jabali Stewart who is our new director of diversity at our school! It is terrific to have him here and I for one feel very lucky. There is new energy and collaboration afoot to create a second year of our Discussing Diversity parent education program. Look for new information about the year's plan which will come out soon.
In the interim, I want to share with you a blog I have found, Coloring Between The Lines, written by a children's book writer and illustrator, Anne Sibley O'Brien. Recently she has been exploring some adult nonfiction looking at how to talk to children about race. Take a look:
One of the books that shifted my perspective the most is the one she recently reviewed, The first R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, which is a sociological observational study looking at the way preschool children in a multicultural classroom manifest racialized power relationships. Many people believe that children are "innocent" to racialized inequality and must be explicitly taught before they behave in a racist manner. However this book suggests that children are aware of and are replicating racialized patterns of inequality from our larger society far far earlier and more frequently than adults are aware. While sobering, this realization has helped me know that we can't teach our children to celebrate multiculturally unless we are also teaching them about social justice, how to resist bias and how to be creators of positive change.
Looking forward to a wonderful year!

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