Madison Children's Museum's blog: news and musings about the museum, issues in the field, and the American Girl Benefit Sale.
Madison Children’s Museum stands with those who are demanding justice for George Floyd, accountability for all police brutality, and an end to the systemic racism and white supremacy plaguing our country. Black lives matter. Black and brown children matter. Racism and white supremacy in all of their insidious forms diminish every community’s capacity to raise whole, happy, healthy children.
As a children’s museum, our focus is on children and their caregivers, trying to meet their needs and address their concerns. Young children first and foremost need to feel safe. Real safety can only be achieved when black and brown children are supported in a rich childhood experience, and are not targeted by racist systems and singled out for violence. We have a long way to go as a society before that is possible.
Many parents and caregivers are exploring how we can work toward a more just world while protecting our children from being harmed in the process. For younger children, this can mean turning off the news. Talk with your children about race and racism in age appropriate ways. NPR has a helpful resource on talking about race with young children.
For older children, it can mean listening to their concerns and helping them contextualize what is happening. This workbook was created for families of African American children to help them cope with crisis. It was produced by the National Black Child Development Institute and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It contains ideas that may be useful for any family.
The Center for Racial Justice in Education also has a useful roundup of links on their Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids page. It includes resources to help black children cope with the realities of racial violence against black people. It also includes resources to help white parents teach their children to identify and resist the racism that is endemic in our culture.
There’s much work to be done. As an organization deeply invested in creating a more just society, where all children and families can play and learn together, and as a cornerstone of our downtown, we will stay active in the conversation and the work.
[This statement was originally posted on 5/31/2020 and most recently edited on 6/5/2020]