Last year, What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book by Laleña Garcia and illustrated by Cary Davidson was published. The book aims to teach young children about the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Movement as adapted by the Black Lives Matter at NYC Steering Committee. In the book, there are different activities that children can do and pages they can color. On January 20, 2021, I attended a webinar hosted by Lee and Low Books called Black Lives Matter in the Classroom: A Conversation With Experts, where Garcia and Davidson spoke about their book and how the principles of Black Lives Matter can be applied in the classroom.Read more
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"Structures of evil do not crumble by passive waiting. If history teaches anything, it is that evil is recalcitrant and determined, and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold short of an almost fanatical resistance. Evil must be attacked by a counteracting persistence, by the day-to-day assault of the battering rams of justice." – Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1968 book "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?"
Isn’t it cognitive dissonance for a nonviolence practitioner like Dr. King to preach about the need for battering rams? Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy of engaged action based in values like Beloved Community and attacking problems not people, and using tools like conflict analysis, dialectical thinking, and strategic campaigns, to help practitioners become grounded, hopeful individuals and build powerful efforts for a reconciled world. . . to become nonviolent battering rams.
In December 2020, twenty-nine people completed the coursework component of On Earth Peace’s Level One Certification in Kingian Nonviolence. This spring they can earn their certification through twenty hours of practice teaching. We asked three of our cohort members to reflect on Kingian Nonviolence as a resource for today’s conflicts and problems. All three shared their reflections in a Martin Luther King Day program convened by On Earth Peace on January 18, with participants from the US, UK, the Philippines and India.
Read on for reflections from:
- Dwight Dunston, co-founder and teaching artist, City Love, a West Philly-based social justice music and education group (Philadelphia, PA)
- Katie Shaw Thompson, pastor, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren (Elgin, IL)
- Thomas Dowdy, pastor, Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren (Los Angeles, CA)
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For the project, members of the community record themselves reading children’s books about peace, courage and justice. The response from the community has been great and we appreciate those who have participated. We have decided to extend the project through 2021.
Following the Raising Race-Conscious Kids webinar series this summer, I began to look for more books about race-consciousness and antiracism. I came across a book called Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. I found the book to be very informative and later discovered that Marie Benner-Rhoades, OEP’s Youth and Young Adult Director, and Laura Hay, the Youth and Young Adult Intern, had also read the young adult edition of the book. For the Read Aloud Project and blog series, I have mostly been focusing on picture books and other resources for younger children (pre K-5). So, I wanted to create a book list for middle school and high school children. Here are five books about antiracism for young adults:
Stamped: Racism. Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
“The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.”Read more