Written by our Racial Justice Organizing Interns, Tamera Shaw and Grace Cook-Huffman
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Since then, parts of the United States and other places in the world have erupted in protests. While police brutality, systemic racism and inequity are constantly being challenged, there seems to be a new wave of positive, forward-moving change. More people in the United States are finally starting to listen and take action. The public is pushing governments to pass laws directly addressing police reform and the defunding of police departments. Subsequently, police officers are being held accountable and responsible for their abusive and bigoted actions. Leading with God’s love and empathy, our collective voices must sing together in a call for action. Now is the time to continue urgently demanding reform, justice, and equity in ourselves, our families, our communities, our churches and spiritual practices, our schools and our institutions. It is pertinent that we use our Beloved Communities to learn, grow, and act together.
Movements for uplifting and bringing equity to our society are not uniquely a Black challenge. It is a challenge that every person must rise to in order to effectively create structural change. As we recognize and demand justice for Black lives that have been brutally taken, we must also recognize the countless number of people that are being killed with no media coverage. This includes Latinx lives, Indigenous lives, and all other people of color that have fallen victim to this system.
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. June was Pride Month, so the project highlighted books about the LGBTQ community. The project has been extended through July. July’s theme is own voices. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the books that were read for the project in June:
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Summary: In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day in June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.
Reflective Question: What does Pride Month mean to you?
I am always looking for books to read and recommend for the Read Aloud Project. During this search, I came across an EmbraceRace webinar titled “Finding and Reading Great Stories for and With Children.” The guest speaker was Katie Potter of Lee & Low Books. I had never heard of Lee & Low Books before and was excited to learn about their efforts to promote diversity in children’s books. Potter provided a surprising statistic on how Black, Latino, and Native authors combined wrote only 7 percent of new children’s books published in 2017.Read more
Written By Brittany Johnson
I am a Latina raising mixed children. My daughters, Haven and Harlow, are African American, Hispanic, and White. They have thick dark curls and brown skin. When you think of Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella, you do not picture my daughters. You imagine fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Society has reinforced this image in our heads. When our children are young, they rely on picture books and movies to guide their imaginations. When you think of a princess or a fairy, what do you see?Read more
Chelsea works as our Newsletter Editor Intern at OEP! “I do a lot of the work associated with the various email blasts and newsletters sent out by OEP,” Chelsea explained. “I am majorly responsible for the bi-weekly PeaceBuilder, so collecting (and sometimes writing) content for that, formatting, editing, and sending out the Peace Builder, though I also handle a lot of the blog posting and the work involved with the bi-annual newsletters and conference wrap-ups. I’m just your friendly neighborhood OEP content collector!”Read more