I am writing this post from a place of privilege, I know that. I can't speak as any sort of expert on racial injustice and inequality. But I do want to educate myself more and more and more, and also raise my children to be strong and vocal anti-racists.
Since paper is what I know best, I have decided to voice my opinion about these issues by starting a letter writing campaign to our legislators.
So, what is a letter writing campaign?
It's an easy, effective way to clearly advocate for a specific issue. These letters may be directed toward the president, a member of Congress, a Senator, or a particular government agency.
Easy right? But I have to confess, it is not something I have done before.
From what I have learned about these grassroots campaigns, is the more letters written, the better chance of having an impact on the way a legislator votes on a particular issue. They don't have to be long, but make sure any letters sent are heartfelt, genuine, and hand written!
Why organize a letter writing campaign?
In researching how to effectively organize a letter writing campaign, I found this from amsa.org: "Legislators are there on Capitol Hill to represent us, the people. The letter serves to educate the target person/audience about an issue and explains why you feel they should take action for/against that issue. Receiving a swarm of constituent mail can greatly impact the way a legislator votes on a particular issue."
I decided to create a free "We MUST do better" postcard that I am including with all online orders, plus a downloadable version for anyone interested in getting more involved— and getting their kids involved too!
So what do we write in our letters and on our postcards? And how can we help encourage our kids to write one themselves?
• Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
• Keep it simple. Be civil, personal, and make your demand clear and concise.
- Let legislators know that you support the message of the Black Lives Matter movement and that you want to see meaningful action to make changes in our state that positively impact communities of color.
- Inform legislators as to why supporting this cause is an important step towards creating changes to eradicate systemic race-based injustice.
- Tell legislators about any personal experiences with systemic racism and how inequality has affected you and/or the people in your community.
- Ask your legislator how they plan to affect change for people of color, and specifically black people, in your city & state.
• Use your own words. This will show that YOU really care about the issue, and looks less like a coordinated campaign.
• Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address.
• Sign your name at the end.
• Include your kids! They have the power to make positive change, but they must be taught this by YOU!
So, will you join me in this simple letter writing campaign?
We have much work to do as a country/state to combat systemic racism, and it is beyond time to make a strong start!
Also, I wanted to share with you all that we are donating 20% of ALL online sales until July 4th to Color of Change!
Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children:
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults
- 31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- Parenting Forward podcast episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt’
- Fare of the Free Child podcast
- Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey”
- How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race | NPR
- Teaching Your Child About Black History Month | PBS
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
- The Conscious Kid: follow them on Instagram and consider signing up for their Patreon