Biracial couple equips adult influencers with new resources and practical tools that empower kids to be empathetic change agents in a segregationist society
Online PR News – 05-September-2019 – Central Point, Oregon – A new workshop titled, "How to Talk to Kids about Race in America," was launched this past spring by a southern Oregon biracial couple who believe they have a unique approach to equipping parents and educators who shy away from sensitive racial issues and avoid teaching children essential knowledge about issues of race in America. The workshop addresses a basic fact: people cannot teach what they do not know. Feedback from participants has been 100 percent positive, with many notably effusive comments:
"It opened our eyes to things we never understood or even knew about before."
"All of the information presented was shared with links to the research done in preparation for the presentation. At no point did it feel like a soapbox sermon but rather as an encouraging conversation drawing us into thoughtful and enjoyable collaboration."
"The history gave such valuable context for me. I knew most of the events described. I don't know that I had ever seen them laid out all together and considered the cumulative impact. For me, it was SO helpful!"
"I appreciate the rich historical content and context as the foundation for these conversations. This workshop is a balance of historical fact, human experience, and connection. For these reasons, the workshop was engaging, relatable and applicable. I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability in opening the door to some of your experiences, so that I could learn and grow from them."
The workshop, which organizers say can be customized for training and professional development, is a 2.5 hour information-packed, interactive immersion into a paradigm-shifting world of America's history of race relations that makes sense of today's confusing current events that even children can comprehend. The introduction redefines common attitudes and ideas of "race" into workshop vernacular, such as "human race."
Participants learn they are all members of a "diverse family" residing together on "one home planet." This approach helps remove the typical walls of adult apprehension about racial issues that are carried into the workshop. Facilitators then offer a welcoming discourse around the simple question of "how should we treat our family?"
"Consideration" is the central philosophical theme threaded throughout the presentation and interactive exercises. The facilitators define "consideration" as "kind, generous and sharing." The new understanding of "race" as "family" and the manner in which we should treat family envelopes the rest of the workshop, which is delivered in easy-to-understand language that takes a deep dive into the history of the United States.
The interactive experience was developed by Mike and Emily Green, a married biracial couple living in southern Oregon with their three children, ages 6, 8 and 19. The workshop contains many resources and data routinely omitted from school textbooks, all viewed through a contextual lens of fact-based history. Complex issues are introduced and boiled down to simple concepts for youth. However, the primary targets of the workshop are parents, educators and other societal influencers, such as journalists, religious leaders and community activists.
"Our goal is to equip the primary influencers in our society with knowledge, insight and practical tools to empower youth to become empathetic change agents," said Mike. "We believe that when young people fully understand the 20th century segregationist society they are inheriting, they can better determine how to redesign, reshape and reconstruct it to be a more equitable environment better-suited for a 21st century multicultural inclusive America."
The inspiration for the workshop came from Emily, who began to receive inquiries about how their biracial family handled issues of race in a predominantly white community. Their two young boys exhibited a strong understanding of curriculum taught during Black History Month in a local homeschool coop, which prompted even more interest.
"It became clear that although parents and educators really want to navigate this important subject of race well, many feel hesitant and unsure about how to best approach this subject in their homes and classrooms," said Emily. "We decided to create a workshop that will provide participants with tools, resources, insights and understanding so that they leave the workshop better-equipped to talk about race in America with their children."
Mike's background as a cultural economist and national consultant on developing inclusive economic ecosystems offers unique knowledge that marries well with Emily's former professional career in social work (before becoming a full-time home manager). Today, the couple travels the country together speaking, training and delivering their unique workshop to schools, community and church groups, racial equity organizations and other nonprofits seeking to improve cultural competency and promote a better understanding of how to address the ever-present issue of race in America.
To learn more about the workshop on How to Talk to Kids about Race in America, connect with Mike and Emily Green via Facebook or visit their Facebook page, "Inclusive America." (https://www.facebook.com/inclusiveusa)