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Reflecting on our Parenting for Peace series helps me better understand my parenting stance today. Susan Linn introduced is to the importance of pretend play (free from corporate influence); Sandra Steingraber pushed us to become activists in the environmental health movement; David Sobel reminded us of the important of "Wild Play" for our kids (and ourselves); and Alfie Kohn encouraged us to practice democracy and compassion within our families and schools. (Use the comments to suggest speakers for next year!). Although I do not do all these things well, I've tried to incorporate much of the overall theme (more open space, less corporate influence) into my families lives.
I think that our time with Anne Sibley O'Brien and Krista Aronson might feel different from these earlier lectures. Although we are likely to still leave inspired, thinking a little bit differently, and more connected to our community (goals of the overall program), our whole selves enter the conversation about race and racism in a way that we haven't had to before. That is, the focus is not simply on what we can do for our children, but also on what we might learn about ourselves. We all have unique experiences and racial identities and yet we also all swim in shared waters now. Here at FSP we have a commitment to fairness, equality, acknowledging the light in everyone and doing what we can to have individual gifts shine. Learning how to talk about race with our kids, and ultimately how to help dismantle racism, is part of that overall project of building inclusive communities. I welcome this prompt and hope that we have ongoing opportunities to learn from each other about personal identity and patterns of inclusion/exclusion for a long time.
We have had a great response to this program - unless causeway traffic is too frustrating we expect we might have a full house - come early, shop the book sale, and enjoy the company!