Home Shenanigans To Minneapolis, With Love: #LoveLetters4BlackLives

To Minneapolis, With Love: #LoveLetters4BlackLives

via Ashia
[Image description: Photo of handmade letters of solidarity. Text reads “To Minneapolis, With Love / Love Letters 4 Black Lives.” A graphic of an envelope with a heart scribbled over it sits on top of the hashtags #FamilySummer4BlackLives & #LoveLetters4BlackLives. On the top right, we see the yellow and orange sun logo of the ‘Summer Of Action!’ initiative. Image provided by Revolutionary Humans by Bellamy Shoffner.]

 

 To Minneapolis With Love: #LoveLetters4BlackLives

Follow the Family Summer 4 Black Lives Facebook page for updates.

Coordinated by Wee The People, Revolutionary Humans, The Philly Children’s Movement, MassArt’s Center For Art And Community Partnerships, and Raising Luminaries.


MAKE THE TIME: 7 Days To Action

This family-action is designed to take less than an hour each day for a 7-day week.

This was a struggle for us to fit into one week – with the 24/7 care of two young kids balancing their disabilities and mine, in a pandemic, with both me and my partner sprinting to cover our full time jobs and outside activism on top of that. HOWEVER – as a mixed Asian/white American family, we answered the call. Black families have to do all that same stuff we do, plus more – with the added fear of being targeted and killed just for existing while Black.

Non-Black families of color & white folks: Pace yourselves as needed but do the work and block off some time in your calendar.



Day 1: What is our family role in breaking patterns of racism?

Black families have already been forced to have these discussions. Today is the day for non-Black families of color & white families to do some work:

  1. Watch a read-aloud of Something Happened In Our Town (Ages 4+) together as a family.
  2. Answer kids’ questions and keep talking about what you’ve learned throughout the week.
  3. For help breaking down these complex questions, use the #FamilySummer4BlackLives Guided Discussion Family Talking Points and kid-friendly Luminary Word Bank.

[Video description: Read aloud of ‘Something Happened In Our Town’]


Day 2: Recognize the power of a love letter

Kids will have big feelings as we talk through current events, yesterday’s read aloud, and as we continue the conversations of our Family Talking Points. Now is the time to show them that affirmations of love can turn to commitment for change – and that commitment has a potential for big change.

Recognizing, acknowledging, and showing our kids how movements are made and sustained by Black women is a basic starting point for recognizing this labor & countering anti-Blackness.

Follow Francie & Tanya of Wee The People’s lead, and watch Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, co-founders of the BLM global network,

    1. Explain the genesis of #BlackLivesMatter. (1 minute video), below.
    2. Speak about Black people and the American Dream (3 minute video). This wasn’t embeddable, so you’ll have to check it out here.

[Video description: Video interview with Patrice Cullors on the origin of BLM as a love letter.]


Day 3: Start gathering materials to send some love to Minneapolis

Start gathering materials from your community to assemble your love letters!

  • Letters can be big and fancy or small & scribbly – all ages, all talents are welcome. We need all voices to affirm our love.
  • During the pandemic, we’ll be photographing & submitting our letters digitally – so you can go all-out without worrying about fitting anything in an envelope.
  • Don’t have access to art supplies? Try using these free apps: Doodle Pad, Sketch.io, or Canva for older kids.
  • For more inspiration, find printable coloring pages and guided prompts from the NYC BLM Activity Book.

If you’re using magazines or catalogues to make a collage – take a moment to talk with kids about

  • Who do we see the most magazines?
  • Who is missing?
  • How does it feel when we don’t see ourselves reflected in books and media?
  • What ideas do kids have to set things right?

[Image: Crafty supplies to make love letters. Image courtesy of Elena White of MassArt’s Center for Art & Community Partnerships]


Day 4: Make it personal

This one is for non-Black families of color & white families – today is when we break and grow so that Black families can take a day to heal.

Let’s not cultivate a nebulous idea of all Black families hurting in the epicenter of Minneapolis as a monolith. It’s vitally important that our kids see – that we see – that each and every Black life matters. Each and every voice counts. Each of these people are individuals, and they’re all hurting in unique ways, in need of love directed to them as people – not as a teeming mass.

So we must read the voices of real Minneapolis families. We must listen and bear witness. Today – we listen while the people of Minneapolis speak.

We can’t afford to look away. Wee The People have collected the stories of Minneapolis families living with the daily impacts of racism. You’ll have to paraphrase – but take the time to discuss these experiences with your kids.

[Image: Photo of a young child holding a cardboard protest sign bearing #GeorgeFloyd. Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash]

 

Child protest #GeorgeFloyd

 


Day 5: Use your voice

Below, you will find eight words inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • Listen
  • Free
  • Futures
  • Live
  • Love
  • Spark
  • Transform
  • Voice

Keeping in mind the discussions and feelings you’ve cultivated together as a family this week, we’re inviting kids to write a poem of any length that includes all eight words. Once you create your protest poem please share it with us – we are building a movement and we want your words to inspire others to speak out and stand up for what is fair and just!

How to share your poem:

[Text description: Poetry prompt from above. Image courtesy of Revolutionary Humans. Poem exercise developed by CACP/sparc!’s first Teaching Artist in Residence, Lewis Morris. ]

8 word protest poem

 


Day 6: We Dance. / We Mobilize.

Another opportunity for Black families to rest for resistance and non-Black families to catch up and use our privilege to call in our own..

Non-Black families: It’s time to use your social power.

  • Identify the local, virtual, and social communities where you hold influence & trust.
  • Reach out to individuals who will listen to you
  • Share your poems, your thoughts – your feelings.
  • Share this post with one friend or family and invite them to come join you for our #LoveLetters4BlackLives action.
  • Not sure how to get started? Grab a template and get started:
  • Bonus points: Reach out to a local teacher and ask them how you can help to incorporate activities from the NYC BLM Activity Book into upcoming curriculum. (Don’t just toss it at overwhelmed teachers. Do the work.)

[Text description: We Dance. We Mobilize: A day of rest and calling in. Give + Live. Image courtesy of Revolutionary Humans. ]

#LoveLetters4BlackLives We Dance. We Mobilize


Day 7: #LoveLetters4BlackLives DAY OF ACTION

Over the last seven days, your family has had an opportunity to learn, to reflect, to talk, to cry, and to grow. Now we breathe in all this pain, this hurt, and this need to do something. And we get started on the first of many actions in the fight against anti-Blackness.

Grab the materials you’ve been gathering all week (or your digital art app of choice) and get to work! Pour out your affirmations, your hopes, dreams, and most of all – your love.

Via Wee The People:

  1. CREATE love letters to Black communities in Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd was killed by police violence, igniting a global upraising for racial justice.
  2. RAISE $3,000 for Juxtaposition Arts, a Black-led, youth-driven visual arts center working with art industry leaders to prepare and inspire young artists to thrive in the global creative economy. Click here to donate $5.

How to deliver your love letters:

We will virtually “deliver” your cards to the people of Minneapolis via Juxtaposition Arts and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Send us your photos/videos, city/town, kid ages, and a few words of reflection about your family action by:

[Text description: Love letter to Families of Minneapolis. “We stand with you. We will continue to fight for JUSTICE, TRANSFORMATION + LIBERATION.” A Collage of photos of Black models, actors, and artists are shaped into a heart in the center. Image courtesy of Elena White of CACP. ]

#LoveLetters4BlackLives

 


Follow-Up: How Has This Action Lingered?

Stay tuned – we’ll be checking in (and updating this post) to gather your reflections and see how this action has impacted your family. We’ll be here to offer support, answer your questions, and provide resources for next month’s #FamilySummer4BlackLives action.

 



Follow the Family Summer 4 Black Lives facebook page for updates.

SPREAD THE WORD on Facebook and Instagram using the tags #FamilySummer4BlackLives.
Follow & collaborate together with our coalition: Wee the People, Revolutionary Humans, MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, the Philly Children’s Movement, and Raising Luminaries as we create a 2020 Summer of Action to support anti-racist families in building a better future together.


Stay Kind, Stand Brave & Join #FamilySummer4BlackLives

Not on social media? Join us for our FREE summer-long virtual event. Each month, families with young kids will gather for one at-home* collaborative action.
We’ll provide the resources and tools you need, and you never have to leave home to participate. From virtual watch parties, reflection prompts, family guided discussion supports, and more. Events will be social-distance safe, easy for overwhelmed caregivers to coordinate, and neurodiverse, and sensory-friendly.
By the end of this summer, families who are feeling lost and overwhelmed talking about the racial injustice in the world will affirm:
WE ARE AN ANTI-RACIST FAMILY AND WE ARE TAKING ACTION.

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