Pinellas County mom and business owner, Meghan Dorman, had always tried to keep an open dialogue with her children when it came to questions about the differences of others around her and how best to treat those she interacts with each day. However, Meghan was not prepared for the tough conversations she was forced to have with them about race last year after the death of a black man, George Floyd, from a white police officer in Minneapolis. Meghan wanted to begin having real conversations with her children about race and tolerance of others and was happy when she found Thrive by Five’s, a kindergarten readiness initiative of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Raising Antiracist Babies initiative.
Thrive by Five’s weekly Early Literacy Web Series, entitled “Raising Antiracist Babies,” is a virtual story time and community healing dialogues using books that celebrate black characters and culture, and conversations with local leaders and citizens on how to teach tolerance to the youngest minds. This series gives parents a model on how to begin having age-appropriate, brave conversations about race with their children and the people in their community.
“Racism is taught, so antiracism can be taught as well,” said Dr. Bilan Joseph, Director of Thrive by Five Pinellas. “To inspire a generation we be have to be intentional.”
“Raising Antiracist Babies,” Early Literacy Web Series also encourages more reading interaction among families at home. Equipping parents with early literacy strategies at home can contribute to increasing the number of children within our county who battle illiteracy.
Tampa Bay residents can get involved by uploading a recording of your own culturally relevant
children’s book or by sharing a courageous conversation about race. Upload video and tag
Thrive By Five Pinellas and use the hashtag #ThriveByFivePinellas #RaisingAntiracistBabies.
A link to Raising Antiracist Babies web series: https://fb.watch/3HAZ54ooKs/