I have spent many hours over the past few days in tears, holding my children, grappling with feelings of utter despair and wondering if the well of optimism, having sustained black people for hundreds of years through the most vile and unfathomable evils, is finally not deep enough or wide enough to sustain another generation. How can I not despair when the legal structures, enacted to keep everyone safe, fail to see me as part of “everyone” and instead of keeping me safe, buries its knee in my neck? In my neck and in the neck of everyone who looks like me—choking out our collective humanity, our dignity, our voice, our breath?
And it is not just these past few days that make me despair. It is all the days on which someone or some group is violated, vilified, mistreated or killed because of the color of their skin; because of who they love; because of who they worship; because of their gender or gender identity; because of their abilities; because of their social status; because they are too young or too weak to speak for themselves.
But in the midst of despair, I also have hope. I have hope when I see the thousands and thousands of people—of all colors and orientations and abilities and religions and nationalities—who seem awakened to the fact that the modern world has been built on the false notion of white supremacy; a notion developed and spread to excuse the perpetration of the worst exploitations of non-white peoples, for centuries depriving them of their humanity.
I have hope when I hear them all demand that their countries and cities hold mirrors up to themselves. I have hope when I see so many people brave the virus and the fear and uncertainty of our time to stand up for all human life and dignity. I have hope when I see the social media feeds of tweens and teens, vowing that they will not tolerate injustice, even if the adults in their lives have.
Parenting for the Future helps parents understand all the structures and forces – old and new – that have shaped our world and will shape the future. And it helps parents use their knowledge to strengthen and reinforce the structures that benefit the world and dismantle those that don’t.
Each of us has more power than we know. By simply being intentional about the decisions we make every day: to speak or be silent; how to treat the person with whom we have nothing in common; where we spend our money; how we support those on the frontlines of positive change. We can create a world where all of our children have a real chance to thrive, to be happy, to make their unique impact.
I invite you to listen to my conversation with one of the people making those decisions on the global scale: Chidiogo Akunyili, the founder of She ROARS (Reimagining Our Africa Rising), which empowers women across Africa to unleash their full potential and that of the continent. Chidiogo has been one of the sources of my hope the past few weeks.
I also want to encourage you to read these pieces sent to me by some of you:
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice (Equality Includes You)
20 Books That Have Changed the Way We Think About Race in America (Inside Hook)
U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism (Harvard Business Review)
Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Thank you for your continued support.
In love and solidarity,