Equity Resources: listen, support & learn

(May 28, 2020)   Recent events in Minneapolis and around the country have left many in our community traumatized and struggling to deal with further incidents of racial violence.  Even those who don’t feel directly impacted by the killing of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery have had to find ways to talk about these tragedies with their children, family, and friends.

With that in mind, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department at Eastern Carver County Schools wants to provide some resources to 1) talk to your children about these events, 2) understand the history and cultural context that frames these events, and 3) learn more.

This is an incredibly difficult and painful time and we urge you to be gentle with yourselves, your children, and those around you. Don’t be afraid to have an honest, age-appropriate dialogue about what’s happening.  Listen, support, and learn.  Know that this is going to require more than one conversation.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Helping Your Child Cope with Media Coverage of Community Racial Trauma: Tips for Parents: View video HERE
  • Talking to Children About Race, Policing and Violence: Read article HERE
  • How should parents and teachers talk to students about police brutality?  Read article HERE
  • It’s Time for White Parents to Have “The Talk” with Their Children about Police Brutality:  Read article HERE
  • Lest we forget: Children are watching this racism, violence and our reactions: Read article HERE

Some points to consider as you talk with your children about racial dynamics, law enforcement, and what’s in the media:

  • Encourage questions as an opportunity to learn together.
  • The lives of police officers and Black lives both matter.
  • Talk honestly, but don’t make judgmental statements about people and communities you may not have authentic connection and deep relationship with.
  • This is not a discussion against law enforcement, or characterizing them in any way, but talking about impacts on communities of color.
  • Be direct about the patterns of law enforcement actions that have generated the community response.
  • These patterns do not mean that each law enforcement officer has ill intent toward people of color, but the fact that this continues to happen requires attention.
  • The actions of some law enforcement officers do not represent others, and there are plenty of officers that have consistent positive interactions with communities of color.
  • It’s important to understand what racial bias is and acknowledge that it still has a major negative impact on the lives of many of our friends and neighbors.

No matter what the age and maturity of your child, this is a challenging discussion.  There isn’t an easy way to engage this topic.  Use this as an opportunity for discovery, learning, and increasing your awareness of human dynamics.