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How can we embrace race? Learn from this couple advocating for change

July 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

EmbraceRace, started by a mixed-race married couple, has been teaching families, educators and community members not just to talk about race, but to understand the dire reasons they need to come together to fight racism.

(CNN)Years before George Floyd's murder by police officer Derek Chauvin in the streets of Minneapolis propelled people around the world to protest systemic racism, Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas had been working on similar goals, in a different way.

We really wanted to find support, but articles for parents tended to be about how to talk to White kids about school shootings or Charlottesville.

Andrew Grant-Thomas: It became more apparent to us, in the context of President Trump and the way the conversation around race escalated, that our friends and teachers, other parents and we ourselves needed community as much we wanted resources.

Grant-Thomas: A lot of the existing work around kids' racial learning is for educators, mostly middle and high school educators.

A lot of parents, especially White parents, say, "I don't want to stain my kids' innocence by introducing this conversation. " But children aren't racial innocents for long.

If parents and other adults aren't inviting conversations about race, or are actively squashing them, and if there isn't any color difference in the home, then there isn't much occasion for kids to show that they're registering race.

Grant-Thomas: I guarantee you that fewer Black or Latinx families are insisting that their 3-year-olds don't see race, in part because they don't have the privilege of squelching the discussion, and in part because non-White people move through more diverse settings by necessity.

Giraud: A kid of color operating in a community or household where people don't talk about race, despite the obvious racial hierarchy you see, might think, "They think my race is so bad that they don't want to talk about it. "

Grant-Thomas: Everyone says they want diverse neighborhoods, but when White people say it, they often mean that they want an overwhelmingly White neighborhood with a few middle class or affluent Black or Brown families sprinkled in.

Giraud: When people say they can't integrate their friend group because where they live is too segregated, I say: Do your kids know that you wish you didn't live in such a White neighborhood?

Giraud: There are thousands more people coming to our site, and a lot more White people asking questions beyond "What should my kids say?" or "What should I say to my kid?" They're asking, "What can we do?

CNN: Talk about the importance of books about "kids of color just being themselves. "

And kids of color need to see people who look like them, in books and movies, who have the full range of experiences, emotions and joy.

White kids need those books, too!

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