This has been a hard and painful week, one that has yet again exposed much deeper and enduring pain. We have found ourselves searching for the right words and often coming up speechless in the face of hate, violence, and injustice.
What we can say is this: We stand with our Black families, children, and colleagues in affirming that Black voices, Black experiences, and Black lives matter—today and every day—and fiercely recommit ourselves to championing Black families as they navigate education systems and other institutions that too often oppress rather than elevate.
Furthermore, as an organization that supports working families of all backgrounds as they strive to build a vibrant future for themselves and their children, we urge white families, in particular, to embrace the discomfort of talking with their children about race, racism, and injustice in this country, while families of color—who have shouldered this burden for too long—help their children process and heal. Here are a few resources we’re leaning on as we navigate all of those tough conversations with our own families:
10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race (EmbraceRace)
Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (Teaching Tolerance)
These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids (New York Times)
We also recognize that we have a responsibility for facilitating these conversations internally and will continue to invest in training our team to better support our Black families and Black colleagues. We owe it to our families, and to our teammates of color, to make sure that this conversation continues not just this week, but until there is true change in our communities.
Finally, parents know their children’s needs better than anyone. So in our daily work, we’ll be amplifying the voices of Black parents, listening to them, and working alongside them to support their goals. Organizations like the ones below, founded and led by parents of color, are instrumental in driving change in the schools and school systems that serve all of our children, and we’re grateful for their leadership, as well as that of many others:
National Parents Union (National)
Wee the People (Boston, MA)
The Oakland REACH (Oakland, CA)
Memphis Lift (Memphis, TN)