In the midst of this awakening, in the larger community, to the systemic injustices in our society we've heard a lot about "wokeness". What if instead of people having to get woke in adulthood we raised children who were aware of and sensitive to social justice issues from the beginning?
Imagine if, instead of coming to this work as adults, we had all come to it as children. What might the world look like if we didn't have to fight for the rights of people of color, of LGBTQIA+ people, for or a sustainable environment, to mention just a few causes, because we'd been educated early about what the inequities were and learned ways to address them and, most importantly, not perpetuate injustice in our own lives?
In this conversation Shelby Kretz and I talked about making social justice an everyday part of the education that our children receive in school and at home. People talk about, "hearts and minds" all the time. What if we could support open hearts and minds from the beginning? Think of how much further along we would be as a society.
Shelby and her team at Little Justice Leaders work to do exactly that. Part of breaking the cycle of racism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression is making sure those attitudes never take root.
This conversation gave me so much hope for the future. I think it will do the same for you.
Shelby Kretz is an educational researcher at UCLA and creator of Little Justice Leaders subscription box. Little Justice Leaders is a monthly box for parents and teachers of elementary school students, which provides resources each month to learn about a new topic of social justice.
For a written transcript of this conversation please click here.
1) Start having conversations with the kids in your life about justice issues.
2) Do your part to normalize the teaching of social justice in schools.
a) As a parent or educator you could advocate at your kid's school for social justice education.
b) Lobbying your school board and legislators around this issue.
c) Connect with them on Instagram @littlejusticeleaders where they have free resources that will help you and the kids in your life as you do this work
Little Justice Leaders Blog: Here you will find ideas and guidance for engaging with the children in your life around social justice.
On Instagram: @littlejusticeleaders
Little Justice Leaders website
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend