An empowering, timely guide to raising anti-racist, compassionate, and socially conscious children, from a diversity and inclusion educator with more than thirty years of experience.
As a global pandemic shuttered schools across the country in 2020, parents found themselves thrust into the role of teacher—in more ways than one. Not only did they take on remote school supervision, but after the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, many also grappled with the responsibility to teach their kids about social justice—with few resources to guide them.
Now, in Social Justice Parenting, Dr. Traci Baxley—a professor of education who has spent 30 years teaching diversity and inclusion—will offer the essential guidance and curriculum parents have been searching for. Dr. Baxley, a mother of five herself, suggests that parenting is a form of activism, and encourages parents to acknowledge their influence in developing compassionate, socially-conscious kids.
Importantly, Dr. Baxley also guides parents to do the work of recognizing and reconciling their own biases. So often, she suggests, parents make choices based on what’s best for their children, versus what’s best for all children in their community. Dr. Baxley helps readers take inventory of their actions and beliefs, develop self-awareness and accountability, and become role models. Poised to become essential reading for all parents committed to social change, Social Justice Parenting will offer parents everywhere the opportunity to nurture a future generation of humane, compassionate individuals.
"I totally understand that each of you wants what's best for your children... but Social Justice Parenting means you also want (and take action toward) what's best for all children," writes education professor Baxley in her powerful debut. Her program for raising children so that they can recognize injustice and work to change it consists of five parts: reflection, open dialogue, compassion, kindness, and social engagement. Through anecdotes from her life, Baxley explains how to use those principles to reject racism ("Learn something new. Acknowledge the fear"), become an ally (a friend of Baxley's who said something racist was corrected and accepted the criticism with humility), and teach kindness to children (parents must make it a value in their own lives, and kids will reflect it). She offers exercises, too, such as creating a shared journal to better communicate with a child, and gives modeled dialogue for conversations about death, sexual assault, and homelessness in one's community. Baxley shines in her ability to be encouraging without being judgmental: "If this seems like a lot to take in, let me tell you that it's okay to start with small steps." This hopeful guide inspires. Agent: Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary.