If the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the recent protests have left you feeling overwhelmed, heartbroken, scared and uncertain, we feel you, parents. While change won’t come easy, we believe it can be achieved with small steps. Here are some simple things Seattle families can do to be intentional about ending racism and embracing diversity any day of the week.
1. Talk to your kids about race
It’s never too early to start talking to kids about race. According to research, kids as young as three months are aware of racial differences and by age two they make decisions based on race. And while talking about it may be difficult, having those tough conversations is what leads to real and lasting change. If you want to directly address protests with your kids, this mom shares useful tips to support the discussion. And if you want to hear the way one mom deftly explains racism to her white friends, you'll want to read this.
2. Spend intentionally
Whether you’re looking for new restaurants to try, coffee shops worth a visit, bakeries for birthday cakes, gyms to help you work off the "quarantine 15" or clothing stores to shop when you can’t, these black/minority-owned businesses can help you out:
3. Break out a book
When you cuddle up with the kids to read at night, make sure books that feature people of color are on your nightstand. If you need suggestions, try these books that celebrate African American history, these that tell the stories of Native American peoples, or this list that includes books focused on ways to discuss race, racism and resistance. We also love these kid’s books that put diversity center stage and these that inspire kids to be and do their best.
4. Seek out diverse experiences
One of the best things about living in Seattle is the depth of experiences it offers. From museums and restaurants, to festivals and events, families can find diversity in their own backyard all year long. Start with museums like the Northwest African American Museum, Wing Luke Museum and the Asian Art Museum, that give voice to minority artists and amplify the experiences of people of color. Check out their virtual collections when you can't visit in person, and make a point to visit the Holocaust Center for Humanity and the Sea Mar Museum when they resume regular hours. The monthly Seattle Féstal is another easy and entertaining way to engage kids with cultural diversity (and now it's virtual), as is Northwest Folklife’s Our Big Neighborhood and Crossroads Cultural Arts events. Beyond these staples, head out to enjoy the Chinese New Year in the ID, celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at your local community center and sit down to drag story time with the Seattle Public Library during Pride Month. Families can also add these national museums focused on race to their list of virtual spots to visit. The possibilities are endless!
6. Support non-profits
Donating time or money to Seattle-area non-profits that focus on promoting diversity is another way to get your family involved. Families of Color Seattle is a great place to start, and Northwest Folklife builds a diverse community every time they host family-friendly events in Seattle and on the Eastside. API Chaya and the Anti-Defamation League are other options that work locally to dismantle racism and build a just society. You can also consider one of these 11 charities that support anti-racist efforts.
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