"Freedom in this country has always been hard-fought and much-delayed. But when it arrives, it is cause for celebration." - Working Families Party
is a celebration of African-American freedom, culture and achievements that started when enslaved people in Texas found out they were free. This year
in the United States it has special resonance, as so many of us unite to create a more fair and just society for everyone. If you're celebrating Juneteenth
today with your family, I send you love and appreciation.
And if you've never celebrated Juneteenth before, why should you as a parent care about it? Because we all want to live in a world without slavery. Because
every child deserves to grow up in a world that celebrates our differences and honors our common humanity. Because as parents we pledge to heal the
full range of our woundedness, so that we don't pass it on to the next generation. Because all parents have a responsibility to raise our children
as anti-racists. Because we're all in this together.
What if you could make the world a better place, just by the way you raise your child? If you've been following my work for a while, you know you can.
Our children will live in a future that we can't even imagine. And yet, the choices we make now are shaping our children's contribution to that future.
Talking about race is hard for most people, probably especially for white people, and even when you're talking to your own child. Considering how our own
racial identities and our shared history impacts our biases, belief systems and actions can be extremely uncomfortable, triggering shame, guilt, fear
and grief. But we need to do the work on ourselves so that we can have those conversations -- not just once, but over and over. We need to model for
our children that we can do hard things, and that this is everyone's work to do.
If you truly believe that all humans are born with the same capacities, then any difference in their current conditions is a result of the environment
into which they are born. That means that we can change those environments, so that every child has the opportunity to become their best self and contribute
their unique gifts to the world.
I've been inspired by Juneteenth and the events leading up to it to make a personal commitment to more listening, learning, growing and positive action
around the issue of race. I hope you'll join me.
(Please see this article for more on Talking with Your Child About Racism,
and don't miss the many resources at the bottom.)