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Statues and monuments, tear them down, or not? How do we honor our past?

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

General Lee? Christopher Columbus? Teddy Roosevelt with a Native American and an African-American slave? Statues and monuments are being taken down all over the place. One NYC school even took down wallpaper, "Les Vues d'Amérique du Nord", because some of their black students felt it glorified the slave trade and abuse of Indigenous people. These are important conversations and they should begin at home.

How do we honor our past, we learn about it, we talk about it and we make informed choices.

Next, the work needs to continue at schools. Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions parents can make- public, private or parochial.

Is the school actively working with parents, administrators, teachers, alums and the kids on social equity? What does this look like? Is everyone reading and then talking about what they read? Are you watching movies about different kinds of people together? Are you talking about riots, kneeling down and taking statues down?

Are you as a family making sure your child's library contains books about all kinds of people? How your child perceives difference is vital, and you can start by having a rich and varied book collection that represents diversity .

Children look to their parents and guardians and their schools to make sense of the world, today a herculean task. Many organizations are doing wonderful work in this space: the AAP, Embrace Race, NAEYC, NBC News and other news stations and the American Psychological Association are a few.

For the youngest children, books and toys are the best way to help them understand differences, several good books are: "Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness", "Something Happened in Our Town", "Separate is Never Equal", "A Big Bed For Little Snow" and "Black Is a Rainbow Color". The best way to talk to young children is in terms of fairness- that they get. As they get older and spend more time in school (one day!) parents and teachers need to really listen to children. As they get older, watch shows with them, read the books they are reading. Ask them where they get their information. For very young children, Let's Talk About Race" is valuable, as they get older, "This Side of Home" is powerful and all adults should read, "So You Want To Talk About Race".

We have to learn how to live together, all parents, guardians and schools must actively work on this now.

Choose the right school, contact Wendy Levey Consulting, because we got this, school choice matters at any age- pre-school and up. Whether you are a business or a family, whether you need interview skill help, or child assessment help, whether you want an overview of school types or a timeline, whether you need a little help with essays or a lot of help with the process, we got this.

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