In the five years I’ve been a podcaster, and also in the decades before, I’ve seen all kinds of frustrating, upsetting, and terrifying events in the news.
Each time something truly horrific comes up, I have tried to be helpful, giving you some words of comfort and inspiration, so you can keep going.
So you can keep doing the wonderful/crazy/hugely difficult work of rearing children.
So you can teach right from wrong.
So you can live your values.
I’m putting together this page, in Spring 2020, because so many of the issues we’re dealing with here in the US have racism at their core.
Here’s the lesson that I have been working to learn and understand, long since before I became a podcaster:
Every single one of us, myself included, has internalized biases.
I believe it is our life’s work to recognize them, to work to overcome our biases.
It’s the only way a privileged person like me can truly help – recognizing the privileges I live with every day and working to get EVERYONE those same privileges, that same feeling of being included and supported.
The feeling of being validated and loved, just for who you are, just for being you (as Mr. Rogers would say.)
This is especially crucial for parents of young children to do – because our kids take all their cues from us.
They model us, they internalize our principles, they adopt our way of thinking, whether we like it or not.
So let’s make sure we are teaching them the right lessons!
As the Executive Director of my son’s school tearfully said – just today, during their end-of-year ceremony:
“Today, with the world on fire, if there is one important thing we should be doing, it is to put good and kind people in the world.”
What follows is a series of links to some of my own work, and some important works of others, in helping us learn to look past our own biases.
Because THAT is how we put good and kind people into the world.
Click here for episode 201 of We Turned Out Okay, in which my awesome guest, licensed mental health counselor Janine Halloran, talks with me about the suspension and expulsion of preschoolers. (Guess what? Nonwhite kids, especially boys, are the ones who most get suspended or expelled.)
Click here for the Center for American Progress study, “New Data Reveal 250 Preschoolers are Suspended or Expelled Every Day,” which was the basis for my conversation with Janine Halloran, LMHC in episode 201 (link just above.)
Click here for episode 176, my conversation with poets and actors Ingrid Alli and Hamilton Graziano. During our conversation Ingrid shares her experience, as a Black woman, being utterly invalidated by a teacher. Both she and her husband Hamilton share some great ways for us to work against racism – with our children.
Here is a lovely video featuring two personal heroes of mine, author and playwright Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and pianist, puppeteer, minister and child-development expert Fred Rogers:
Click here for episode 194 of the show, my conversation with NYT best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson, who writes fiction, only learned empathy after becoming a mom – and coined my absolute favorite term for racist jerks: “known jackasses.”
Click here for Visual Intelligence, the book by Amy Herman that uses art (of all things) to teach how to look past our biases.
Click here for the bonus We Turned Out Okay episode I did in 2017, “5 Ways to Talk to Your Kids about Racism.”
Click here for “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” an essay by Peggy McIntosh which dives deep into the ways nonwhite people experience bias and racism.
Click here for episode 249 of WTOO, a conversation about bias and race with my close friend and fighter for justice, Cathleen Dinsmore. A quilter and poet, Cathleen has made some beautiful works of art aimed at helping people of privilege understand the world from different perspectives. Cathleen teaches that this is the only way to overcome bias, foster connection, and help others.
Thank you for reading!
I am on this journey, of learning to recognize and overcome my own biases.
All of the resources here are teaching me, too.
I hope that they are helpful for you!