Hi friends, hope your last week has been full of education and a little inward thinking. This is not a normal post. No fitness or nutrition talk today. With the events of this last week, and really coming to terms with my white privilege, I did some research and realized just how little I know. How little I know about police brutality (it’s not just a few bad apples), systemic racism (down to how our health care system works), and how little I’m currently doing to even make my kids aware of what is going on in the world. Well…now that I know better, it’s time to do better.
As a mother, I want to shield them from the ugly, but by doing that I’m only furthering the ignorance that many white people are realizing they have in today’s current climate. I wanted to share what we’re doing personally in our household to help support people of color and how I’m starting with my kids to hopefully build a future full of acceptance and love towards others. This is not meant to be a full list, but these are just a few things we’re starting with at home. And if you have kids, and aren’t sure where to start, maybe these will give you some ideas.
- Talking to Madeleine about people of color
Our area is one of the least diverse areas in Colorado. So by happenstance of where we are, Madeleine hasn’t seen many people of color. We started talking to her about the fact that God made lots of different people with lots of different skin. How we are meant to love and celebrate everyone, no matter what their skin looks like. Sesame Street has been a great resource for us, as they have many ethnicities represented there, so she gets some exposure, but we also want to start taking her to POC-owned restaurants (when we can after quarantine restrictions are lifted), where she can experience different cultures’ looks and food.
2. Buying Madeleine non-white dolls.
I’m a little ashamed to say that Madeleine currently only has white dolls. Granted she only has 4 dolls total, but still, there is no diversity even in her play toys. So we are going to buy her black family dolls to play with in her dollhouse as well as a princess Tiana doll (from Princess and the Frog), since she loves Tiana.
3. Buy Madeleine books
There are so many children’s books out there that explain diversity and racism in way that’s gentle yet educational for kids. They certainly do a better job of it than I could. So we’ll be starting with One Big Heart (focuses on diversity) and Have Your Filled a Bucket Today (focuses on being kind to everyone we meet).
4. Donating to a cause that actively helps pregnant women of color
According to the CDC, black mothers are four or five times as likely to die in child birth than white women. This is not from a biological cause, it’s from a social bias one. As a mom of two little ones, this absolutely breaks my heart. There are many organizations committed to helping pregnant women of color, and one of them is the National Association to Advance Black Birth. Their mission is to help save more black pregnant mothers’ lives and the lives of their babies through research, education, and policy change. I found out about this organization this past week, and God has really laid it on my heart to give here because I cannot stop thinking about these women who don’t have access to proper medical care, who’s symptoms are pushed aside to help more affluent patients, and whose color of their skin determines their health out come because of social biases (that should NEVER happen!).
These seem like small steps to help what’s been going on in our country for decades, but I believe that every little bit counts. If you have any other ideas to help, or any thoughts you’d like to share on this, I welcome any open, respectful discussion. I know this post sounds political, and if you feel that way, you’re looking through the wrong lens. People are being judged and treated miserably because of the color of the skin. That’s not a political problem, that’s a heart problem. We have a sovereign God who calls us to LOVE one another without judgment and if those of us who are privileged sit back and do nothing, we are not actively living out that love we are called to show. I hope this gives you an idea of where to start and I pray we can start making a change today.