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How to Raise a Generation that Stands for Equality
Equality starts at home. We as parents and caregivers provide the architecture for inclusivity and action for change. Therefore, we can help raise a generation that stands for equality. No one person is a fully formed realization of activism but making steps every day whilst showing a willingness to learn (and be corrected) is praiseworthy, courageous, and inspiring. There are different types of inequality. Let’s start by focusing on gender and racial equality.
How to talk about racial equality with your kids:
It can feel complicated but it’s important not to bypass the subject. Research indicates that children can develop racial biases by ages three to five. Breaking down some important terms and pointing out when they can happen in everyday life is a great first step.
We must talk to our children about race. Educating ourselves as parents about the reality of racism is equally critical. Racism is when people are treated unfairly because of the color of their skin. Racism is systemic and shows up in many ways. Explicitly such as abuse, victimization, and harassment but also subtly such as microaggressions, colorblindness, and passivity. Pointing out how some shops only sell products for white skin/hair when out shopping or how toys are often white when tidying up can be conversation starters.
Understanding the meaning of white privilege is important for a family. White privilege means that white lives haven’t been made more difficult due to skin color. It highlights the advantages that white people have throughout society. Talking with your kids about how white people are treated more favorably by the law or are more likely to get a job and earn more are simple but effective ways to explain white privilege to a child.
How to talk about gender equality with your kids:
Having open chats about the importance of gender equality and how prejudice manifests throughout society will help your child be socially conscious in the future. Recognizing what it is and challenging it when it happens day-to-day is an awesome beginning. This goes for ALL inequalities.
Gender bias and stereotypes
Bias is when someone makes an impulsive decision or an unfair assumption. This creates stereotypes. A gender stereotype for kids might be ‘girls love the color pink.’ All kids – boys, girls, and non-binary children can decide what colors to wear and which toys to play with. Noticing and challenging gender stereotypes on social media or when they are watching television is a great lead-in. Being a good role model and avoiding gender bias within the home is crucial when it comes to raising a generation that stands for equality.
Gender equality and Women’s Equality Day
Talk about gender equality by celebrating Women’s Equality Day. Gender equality is the state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender. This day observes the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave some women the right to vote. It empowers women by looking at how so many inspiring females have progressed and achieved despite such hardship. According to UN Women:
‘Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.’
On August 26th, 2022 you can celebrate with your children the known and unknown stories of amazing women who fought against inequality. Honoring unimaginable achievements whilst remembering that women are still fighting for equality, gender parity, and voting rights protection to this day is important. To celebrate Women’s Equality Day, we can honor some of the unseen women of color who changed the world.
Feminists who changed our world:
Mary Jackson was Nasa’s first black female engineer. She graduated from Hampton Institute with a degree in mathematics and science and was then promoted as an engineer only after fighting for her seat at the University of Virginia. She wasn’t only pivotal in developing Nasa’s space program, she also helped marginalized women advance their careers.
Have a daughter who loves science and other STEM topics? Check out our article on Our Favorite Books for Aspiring STEM Girls.
Patsy Takemoto Mink
Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S House of Representatives and went on to pass the Women’s Educational Equity Act. She dedicated her working life to gender equality in schools despite coming up against racial and misogynistic discrimination as a Japanese-American female. She wisely said:
‘We have to build things that we want to see accomplished… to make sure that others do not have to suffer the same discrimination.’
A black American inventor was granted a patent for her design of a cutting-edge sanitary belt, which was the first of its kind in 1956. Companies refused to work with her because of her race but used her work to create successful menstrual products. She was deleted from history as a true pioneer.
There are many more black thinkers who made a real impact if you would like to know more.
Favorite children’s books that talk about equality (and inequality):
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
This inspiring collection of forty brave and revolutionary stories can be a great conversation starter for racial bias and inequality. Your child can feel empowered to create change and be an ally whilst understanding the value of resilience and perseverance.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Set between the 1930s and 1960s, Hidden Figures tells the lost story of four black women who were part of Nasa’s greatest achievements. The intelligence and determination of mathematicians Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Christine Darden, and Katherine Johnson is an inspiring read. It can open up discussions on overcoming adversity, racial inequality, gender roles, and determination.
The Extraordinary Life of Mary Seacole by Naida Redgrave
This book tells the life story of Mary Seacole who combated racial prejudice throughout her medical profession. The book shines a light on her early life in Jamaica and her heroic achievements during the Crimean War. This can help children understand adversity and racial discrimination.
Rosa Parks: A Children’s Book About Civil Rights, Racial Equality, and Justice by Emma Fitzelle-Jones
Rosa Parks is the woman known for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. This was a pivotal moment in the fight for civil rights. Her bravery helped create waves that broke down institutional racism. It is a stark reminder that much work still needs to be done and is a way to teach kids about the reality of structural racism in a mindful way.
Favorite Moshi Tracks that talk about equality and inclusivity:
YaYa the Zonkey
Yaya is a zany zonkey- colorful and rare. She is both a donkey and a zebra and always gets a second look from the other Moshlings. This is a heartfelt mindfulness meditation that helps kids embrace uniqueness.
Cali’s Rockpool of Inclusivity
Cali’s crystal clear rockpool is the place to be. It is teeming with lots of different Moshlings. Cali is a mindful mermaid who celebrates differences and welcomes new friends who drift in and out, in and out, in and out of her special hang-out pool. Cali reminds us that not including others is mean- especially when they are new.
Roswell’s Moshling Encounter
Have you ever wondered if there is life in the stars? Travel light years away to a distant moon to meet our Roswell Moshling. This relaxing meditation sees a friendly visitor from space teaching the other Moshlings the value of togetherness, community, and kindness.
Tumbles the Nifty Shifty
Tumbles, a friendly Moshling always does his best to fit in. He is a cool-looking dude made of swiveling cubes. Together with Wonky Wizard, he teaches a group of woodland Moshlings to be more welcoming. A lovely sleep meditation for kids to relax and de-stress after a busy day!
Wow- lots of things to read and listen to. Let’s bring it together and keep it simple with some top tips.
So our top tips on raising a generation who believes in equality are:
- Challenge bias and stereotypes as a family
- Write a letter to your school about equality
- Empower your kids to call out discriminatory behavior
- Read books about diversity and inclusion
- Check your privilege
- Embrace all types of role-models
- Write to your local authority/power about injustice
- Educate yourself on the history of inequality- not just during Black History Month or Pride Month
- Raise money for charities dedicated to better rights for marginalized groups
- Continue conversations with your child and listen to their words
- Be kind – to everyone
Kindness is everything at Moshi. We wish you much compassion, determination, and commitment in your marvelous quest of raising a generation that stands for equality.