Programs for JOINING Families

“We Stories is a way to take action. As we become more intentional about the conversations we have with our kids, and with each other, we can begin crafting the kind of equitable, inclusive city we want Saint Louis to be. It is a rewarding experience and is powerful to be among other White folks doing this work.”
— a We Stories parent

As a parent you know better than most why these early years are one of the transformative times of adult development. We see in our children the possibility of a more hopeful future. And our children provide a deep well of motivation to take stock of who we are, who we want to be, and what it might take to get there.

At the same time many of us know that it means something to be living at this time and in this place. We are aware of the challenges facing our region. A growing number of White parents want to be part of the solution. We want to do something tangible, impactful and effective. But it can be hard as individuals to know where to start, especially when many of us didn’t inherit the tools necessary to understand, talk about, navigate, or address racism and our role in it.

Family Learning Program

Our 12-week Family Learning Program introduces parents, and their children from birth to age 8, to compelling works of children's literature that feature diverse characters, provides supportive resources and materials to help start and strengthen family conversations about race and racism, and fosters community building around these topics. Many parents use this opportunity to not just open up new conversations and establish new family socialization patterns, but also reflect on how and what they learned about race, when, where and from whom. Together we re-examine the choices we’ve made and those made for us and the impact they have on our children and our region.

Many families join We Stories in order to open up a conversation about race for the first time. Others join feeling experienced talking to other adults, but not to their children. We recognize that We Stories families have multiple different starting points and hopes for the journey ahead. We also believe in the importance of cultivating a community that embraces a broad continuum of experience. It’s not about how much we already know; it’s about what we are able to learn and how we are able to leverage that new knowledge. This is one manifestation of our culture of invitation.

You have the opportunity to join us in creating a new story for our children and our city. We invite you to join today! Email hello@westories.org to find out more.

We enroll new families in cohorts of 50-80 two times a year (January and May). As of Jan 2019 more than 800 families with 1,500 children across 86 zip codes in our region have participated in our Family Learning Program.

 
“The biggest take-away for me is that it’s ok to talk explicitly and openly with your kids about race. I was afraid that to acknowledge differences and poverty and the circumstances that created the current segregation we see would scare my daughter or cause her to say embarrassing things to others. Neither of these things have happened and I see an increased level of empathy forming within her now.”
— a We Stories parent
“Because of We Stories I have learned that I have more learning to do. I thought this program would help me talk to my child about race. I didn’t think about how much was lacking from my own knowledge to have that conversation.”
— a We Stories parent
 

The 12 week Family Learning Program includes:

  • 4 age-appropriate books per child that feature diverse characters, examine differences, and address race and racism

  • Access to a parent curriculum with resources to support family conversations

  • 12 modules of curriculum with thematic content, question prompts, curated resources for adult learning and children’s book recommendations

  • Opportunities to engage and process with other parents having similar experiences

  • A chance to be supported by a program alum as a source of encouragement and collaboration

  • A community of bonded individuals to share joys and concerns - from the personal to the regional level

  • Fresh perspectives on St. Louis history, landmarks, and institutions

  • Opportunities to begin supporting existing efforts to make St. Louis a better place for all families

 
People would be surprised by the impact that simply diversifying your home library can have. The dialogues that can come out of reading books with pictures of people (and places) not like ourselves are incredibly powerful, and my hope is that they have a lasting impact beyond these formative years for my kids.
— a We Stories parent
“We Stories encourages families to not only talk about the differences in skin colors, but invites White families to really consider their Whiteness. And this conversation becomes something even more powerful when little minds and hearts are invited to join the conversation.”
— a We Stories parent