Yesterday was the second Little Justice Leaders gathering on Zoom, co-facilitated by UUJAZ Executive Director Janine Gelsinger and her fourth-grade daughter, Vivienne. We had a great discussion on the topic of Anti-Racism. We read a story, and the kids have the opportunity this week to do some art.
- We read a story this week from Ibram X. Kendi, called "Anti-Racist Baby." You may recognize the author from "How to Be An Anti-Racist." The book lists 9 steps for equality:
1. Open your eyes to all skin colors
2. Use your words to talk about race
3. Point at policies as the problem, not people
4. Shout "There's nothing wrong with the people!"
5. Celebrate all our differences
6. Knock down the stack of cultural blocks
7. Confess when being racist
8. We are always growing, learning, and changing
9. Believe we shall overcome racism
Co-facilitator Janine Gelsinger shared that, "As a white kid growing up in the suburbs of Phoenix (Scottsdale), I was taught that racism was something from the past, something the civil rights movement ended. I thought that as long as we treated everyone the same, and with kindness, that was enough. I learned it was 'impolite' to mention race. And, in the 90s we were taught that being 'color-blind' was the ideal; to treat everyone the same and to 'not see color' was what we were supposed to do. To admit you had a racist thought or action was unheard of; that should never be discussed. As a parent now, I have a different understanding, but I still have to consciously work at unraveling this narrative when I speak to my own children (and yours!). This book helps me remember that these concepts are pretty easy for our kids to get, but it's me that has to work to unweave my childhood learnings."
Several of the parents in this group had participated in Beloved Conversations, the UU anti-racism curriculum. If you haven't heard of it, you can check it out here.
Beloved Conversations is a great program to do with a group from your congregation, or sign up as an individual and meet other UUs. Janine was part of the curriculum writing team at Beloved Conversations. No matter where you are on your anti-racism journey, this is a way to ground yourself in our shared values as UUs.