Tips & Tools

Get ideas for taking action as a family—making protest signs, attending local marches, trying healing meditations, consciously connecting with people from different backgrounds, and much more—and for step-by-step activities to engage in.

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From Chapter 2: Parenting for Social justice, by Angela Berkfield

Now that social justice is on your mind, you are likely to try conversations or actions that you might not have tried before. If you get stuck, that’s okay. You can always say “I don’t know” or “let’s look that up” or “let’s ask my friend.” The nice thing is that you get to try again later today, and again tomorrow, and probably the next day. Kids’ questions provide an opportunity for us to continue our own learning and bring that learning into our ongoing relationship with them... Parenting for social justice is going to be different depending on who you are, where you live, what your family makeup is, what your relationship with your kids is like. Overall I say—just do it! Be creative and uniquely you! There’s no right way to do this, and I don’t want you to get tripped up on lists of what to do and what not to do. When you make mistakes, apologize and try again.

From Chapter 6: Parenting for gender justice, by Leila Raven

Applying a consent framework to our caregiving allows us to see our children not as carbon copies of ourselves, but as individual people with their own autonomy, needs, and boundaries. In our family, this approach created space for the child I’m raising to define her gender identity and expression for herself instead of accepting the boxes checked for her. Early on that meant kids would ask, “Are you a boy or a girl?” and my three-year-old would say, “No.” Later she firmly expressed that she identified as a girl, and just like I had done when I first gave her what I now refer to as her placeholder name, she used cultural influences to come up with a name for herself. She is clear about her identity; it is up to the rest of us to listen.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Parenting 4 Social Justice provides a safe place to support your own social justice learning process and the tools necessary to transfer that learning to your children. The book leads you on a journey of your own self-discovery of identity and privilege and affirms that you do not need to be an expert to lead your kids through their own discovery. The many resources, including personal reflection prompts, conversation starters, book and video recommendations, and much more, have made the process of teaching my children about social justice issues more intentional and natural.

Amy Bailey, a white Christian middle-class female, lives in a diverse neighborhood in Sacramento, California, with her husband and children ages 15 and 12.