Meet A Roddenberry Fellow
July 19, 2019
Meet Andrew, a 2019 Roddenberry Fellow
Andrew is the co-founder of EmbraceRace, a national nonprofit that supports parents, teachers, and other adults to raise children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race. They are working to help nurture a generation of children with the tools and sensibilities to ease the anxieties and remedy the inequities that threaten the future of the United States as a multiracial democracy.
EmbraceRace was founded in 2016. EmbraceRace targets two linked problems: the fact that race remains perhaps the sharpest edge along which we divide ourselves, and the lack of support for the large and growing number of caregivers who want to raise children who can mend our racial divisions, rather than reinforce them.
“EmbraceRace gives parents, teachers, and other caregivers the resources and community so many of us need and want to develop our critical race thinking muscles; do the hugely important work of nurturing inclusive, informed, and resilient kids; and benefit from the insights and emotional support of people who share our concerns and hopes for our kids and for the country. Ultimately, our aim is to help raise a racially brave, thoughtful and informed generation of children with the tools and the will to ease the anxieties and resentments that threaten our future as a multiracial democracy.”
During the 2019 Fellowship
In partnership with the American Psychological Association, EmbraceRace will pilot their Building Resistance, Resilience & Joy with Black Children online curriculum. The curriculum will encourage parents and other caregivers to take one practical step each day, for 21 days, to inculcate the skills, perspectives, and sense of personal agency that support Black children to thrive.
They will also develop and pilot our Reading Race in Picture Books work, a video toolkit and related resources and offerings for early childhood educators, librarians, and parents who want to learn how to use picture books to support healthy, respectful racial learning in young children.
Third, they look forward to launching CounterStories. Through CounterStories they will solicit and share short audio stories that capture the extraordinary range of ways that amateur storytellers experience race, childhood, and caring for children across lines of race, class, immigrant status, geography, religion, and so more.
Finally, they will continue their work to develop a curriculum that educates parents about race in the United States, spreads awareness about the importance of healthy racial learning, and provides practical, research-informed tools to do it effectively. The curriculum will be aimed at parents of birth-8th-grade children of all racial stripes.
How to get involved
Visit EmbraceRace Website: First, take some time to give us a look, not just now but also 6 months from now. Seriously, put a note on your calendar for mid-October to (re)visit the EmbraceRace website. And join ourmailing list so you’ll know what’s going on. We have a lot going on now, and tons more good, exciting programs and projects coming over the next six months. The first step in supporting us, if that’s what you want to do, is to dig your fingers into the soil of our work.
Become an Ambassador: Second, be an ambassador for EmbraceRace! Share our Facebook posts, our resources and tools. Tell folks in your circles about ourTalking Race & Kids webinar series, about ourAction Tips andchildren’s book lists, about the storytelling and other initiatives we’re launching soon. Everything we do is free to participants. Know about groups and organizations focused on kids, parents, families, schools, that might be interested in seeing what’s up with EmbraceRace? Hook us up!
Donate or Volunteer: Third, once you’ve checked us out, if you like what you see and really want to invest in this work, donations are very needed and always welcome. AND so are volunteers. If you’re willing/able to spare some time to volunteer with us, I’d love to talk about what that might look like. Reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do Your Own Work: Whether you’re a parent, teacher, grandparent, aunt or uncle, big sibling, coach, tutor, mentor, childcare provider, it’s a good bet that YOU play a role in the upbringing of at least one child. What contribution are you making to how that child’s emerging perspective on the world, not least on race? Could you be more thoughtful and deliberate about that contribution? My wife and I started EmbraceRace because the answer to that last question, for us, was a resounding YES! If it is for you, too, and you want to take on the challenge, you will not be alone! maybe we can help.