• Parenting Through a Pivotal Moment in History—Mighty Parenting 213 with Veronica Chambers

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Every attempt at a solution is part of the solution.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Parenting Through a Pivotal Moment in History:

    Quote on parenting through a pivotal moment

    Peaceful protest is the most effective form of protest in the world. Studies done by researchers have shown that between 1903 and 2006, over 50% of nonviolent protest movements around the world have accomplished their goals. 

    Veronica wrote Call and Response because this movement was a pivotal moment in our history. The Black Lives Matter movement was the largest protest in U.S. history; close to 26 million Americans participated across the country in various events supporting this movement.

    The heart of Call and Response is how we protest, and why it matters. And this is incredibly important for our kids to know and understand, so they understand just how much of a difference their voices can make.

    Youth activists in Glasgow during the climate talks, kids and teens and young adults from countries across the planet, were some of the most powerful voices involved—world leaders listened to them, quoted them, and read what they had to say.

    The first half of Call and Response covers the racial justice movement and protesting through art, from the modern Civil Rights movement to the Black Lives Matter movement. Basically, how we got here, and what happened along the way. The events of 2020 have connections to roots stretching back to the reconstruction, and that’s history our kids should know.

    The second half of Call and Response is, more or less, what people do with this information when they acquire it, and all the various mediums through which people have protested:

    • Athletes have always been a vital part of protesting in America, using a love of sports to say, these are the things that matter to us
    • Music – many protests over the decades have included not just marching and signs, but music—everything from Caribbean steel drums to violins to pianos, to anthems and songs artists specifically wrote to protest
    • Physical activities – marches, hikes, bicycle parades, surf and paddling events, skateboarding
    • Art – originally it was signs (and still often is as they’re quick and easy to make), but over the years protesting via art expanded through paintings, graffiti, murals (there’s an entire section covering murals in Call and Response), sculptures…

    Call and Response covers the Black Lives Matter movement, but it’s ultimately a prototype for any type of social change and how that change can happen.

    Every black parent has to make a decision about when and how they talk to their child about racism.

    Veronica, when talking to her 13-year-old daughter, angled towards discussing black history, art, culture and legacy of black people in the U.S. to try to inspire her. She hadn’t really covered heavier topics such as reconstruction, lynching and police brutality; thus, her daughter wasn’t completely equipped to understand the depth of everything happening around this pivotal movement that began with George Floyd’s death.

    Veronica’s daughter was kicked out of a chat group because the other kids said she was obsessed with race and they were tired of talking about it. She was just trying to understand what happened with George Floyd.

    Racism and the surrounding problems are not restricted to certain bad people or certain bad places. This is something we as a country need to deal with collectively.

    There are so many aspects of racism that are awful and damaging. But the idea that we as a collective have created a culture that makes people dislike themselves based on one singular physical characteristic (that they have no control over) is just painful and sad.

    Encouraging empathy, curiosity and compassion in ourselves and our kids is the beginning—the beginning of healing and envisioning a better world, and the beginning of our own growth and intelligence.

    If everybody is doing something, then we’re all moving forward together. The Bakers Against Racism campaign started last summer with a group of pastry chefs deciding to bake and sell goods to support organizations doing racial justice work. Ultimately, over 2000 bakers across five continents raised over two million dollars in one year for these organizations.

    How can you be someone that gives? Baking is a great place to start with your kid. It has so much mindfulness in it and is a great way to give back; it takes a little bit of patience and a little bit of grace. Have a small bake sale and donate the proceeds to a group your kid cares about. Save up some money and every weekend find something that matters to give that money to.

    The Black Lives Matter movement started with a love letter. Every pivotal movement, every social justice movement has had love as its guiding force. The BLM movement is one of the most diverse racial justice movements of our time because the people who have been involved in the movement understand that it’s not just about race—it’s truly about equality and humanity.

    Kids want to know, if the call is BLM, then what is their role? This is more than a series of recent incidents (not to dismiss or diminish the impact and importance of those events); it’s the history of a people in a shared land.

    Encourage your kids to think about this. Open discussions, ask them to consider: how does this make me feel? What do I think about this? Then share it and ask them to share it, with their family, with their friends.

    If you do not know your own voice, then you will not know what you believe and what you can trust. 


    What Every Parent Needs To Know About Kids Getting In Trouble With The Law | Elvin Gonzalez | Episode 83

    How We Can Help | Sandy Fowler | Episode 128

    We Are Power – Nonviolent Activism and Teenagers | Todd Hasak-Lowy | Episode 133

    Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter

    Veronica’s guest post: Bakers Against Racism

    Veronica, Jennifer and others involved in Call and Response have been doing virtual visits with schools to talk with kids and answer their questions. Schools or bookstores that are interested in coordinating an event for local schools, can contact Veronica’s publicist, John Sellers, at publisher Harper Collins to set up an event.

    Our Guest Veronica Chambers:

    Veronica Chambers discusses parenting through a pivotal moment

    Veronica Chambers is an award-winning author and the lead editor of Narrative Projects, a team dedicated to telling multi-platform stories at The New York Times. Based in London, her most recent book is “Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter.” She has taught writing at several colleges and universities including Bowdoin in Maine, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Massachusetts, and the Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, she writes often about her Afro-Latina heritage.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/call-and-response/9780358573418.

    From Sandy:

    It’s easier to listen and connect with your teenager when you are calm. Grab Sandy’s complimentary lesson on finding calm at https://sandyfowler.com