Developing Cross-Race Friendships Has Profound Benefits for All Children, and Books Can Help

Developing Cross-Race Friendships Has Profound Benefits for All Children, and Books Can Help

Something we talk about often is the importance of strengthening our own racial literacy, and that of our children, in order to foster more positive cross-race friendships and peer behavior. White children (and adults) in particular, are not well poised to be good peers to kids of color if they haven't spent time thinking about both their own racial identity and also how different people's races can lead to very different experiences of the same place, person, or process. Many parents hope that their children can create lasting friendships with children who are different from them in a variety of ways. However, the truth is that many White parents have a dearth of cross-race friendships themselves. In fact, just 15% of White adults report having a close friend of another race. 

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v Board: A Series on the Role of White Parents in School Segregation - Part 3

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v Board: A Series on the Role of White Parents in School Segregation - Part 3

it’s important to know the role that you’ve been playing when it comes to making schooling decisions for your kiddos, and the role that you could play in the future. As the first two parts of this series has demonstrated, white parents have had a significant role in keeping school segregated while continuing to attain educational benefits and opportunities for their children. The way forward requires an honest reckoning with the reality of where we are, what’s possible, and where you hope to go. 

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 2

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 2

Coming into the present, the calculated, piecemeal, chipping away at the mandate for school integration is still, sadly, very much alive and present. But as our country now lives with the identity of a ‘post-civil rights era’ society (and all of the ways that this both true and false), the racist policies are cloaked in the morality of the day, and often put under the guise of individual freedom. 

Today, the exercising and prioritization of “individual choice” continues to drive segregation in at least two powerful ways: moving and opting out altogether.

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 1

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 1

With the recent passing of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board, I’ve been thinking specifically about the top 2 myths that I encounter a lot concerning segregation and integration. They find their beginning in the mistaken belief that Brown v. Board ended segregation entirely and cleared the way for a “evened out” education system for all students. That idea then gives way to thinking that because a “level playing field” exists for all kids, there’s no harm in white parents making sure that their children get the very best education that their resources can reach.

Read Diversely This Summer! #DiverseSummerReading w We Stories

Read Diversely This Summer! #DiverseSummerReading w We Stories

School is either almost out or your summer has already begun!! And with homework out of the picture for a couple of months, chances are you and your kiddos will find yourselves with extra time to read ALL the books.

If that's you, you're in luck, because some amazing people have already started compiling summer reading lists featuring kids from a litany of diverse backgrounds - including books about kids of color, by authors and illustrators of color.

Let's Be a Community that Invests in Anti-Racism and Racial Equity Across the Board!

Let's Be a Community that Invests in Anti-Racism and Racial Equity Across the Board!

Did you know that Give STL Day (May 1) is the important fundraising day of the year for We Stories? We know that it can be a noisy day in our region and that some folks have a love/hate relationship with this 24-hour fundraising event. But for us at We Stories we’ve really come to embrace this important day. Really! We mean it.

Let us tell you 5 Reasons why we LOVE/LOVE Give STL Day.

Who does this brokenness serve? Well...us : Comments from the EHOC Conference

Who does this brokenness serve? Well...us : Comments from the EHOC Conference

As we pushed strollers around Forest Park, she shared the question that was keeping her up at night.  “Why - given how philanthropic our region is, compelling our research base is, and how incredibly sustained our protest movement has been - are we so stuck?”

Together we wondered: Who is responsible for holding the status quo in place? Who was giving elected officials and leaders the impression that the costs of doing nothing were low, and the costs of doing something were too high? Who does this brokenness serve? Well...us.

White Parents' Role in Replicating Inequality and Our Responsibility to Get #offthesidelines

White Parents' Role in Replicating Inequality and Our Responsibility to Get #offthesidelines

One week ago nearly 400 of us sat together for an evening of extraordinary connection, challenge, conviction. When most people looked around the room they saw friends, neighbors, their children’s teachers, peers and community leaders who have been instrumental in their own anti-racism journeys.

Together we considered our role in the systems we have and our responsibility in helping to create the systems that we want - and that our region’s children deserve.

Planting the Seeds of Community: Seedfolks and More

Planting the Seeds of Community: Seedfolks and More

Celebration in the face of mourning. Love in the face of pain. Connection in the face of fear. This is humanity at its richest. Sharing in that humanity together is the essence of community. The human experience is a story of trauma and tragedy, as well as one of love, connection and hope. As we face the world with our children, and engage in difficult explanations and conversations, we have the opportunity to introduce stories of joy, healing and restoration. As Fred Rodgers  famously said, “Look for the helpers.” And if you look hard enough, there they are.

At the Intersection: Erasing and Minimizing Women of Color

At the Intersection: Erasing and Minimizing Women of Color

Our history is positively brimming with amazing women who gave their talents to help industries and our society as a whole progress and be more inclusive. Some, we are very familiar with - Harriet Tubman or Susan B. Anthony - and have learned snapshots of their contributions through school or popular culture. Many others, especially Women of Color, are all too often left out of the history books or the mainstream narrative. And that leaves us all the poorer, because we miss out on giving our kids real-life examples of women in different fields, and flourishing in those roles.