Systemic racism is not going anywhere. In fact, we still have to confront it in our day-to-day lives. It’s a deep-rooted problem that has been lingering on for far too long. Although we might expect our children to become immune to several acts of injustice, this cannot happen overnight.
They urgently need our assistance.
Our children deserve all the support and information they can get. They have to become familiar with our people’s plight, traditions, and enormously rich cultural heritage. We, at The Village Method, have made it our main mission to empower and enlighten numerous families by implementing intensive family engagement activities.
In fact, every single African-American deserves to study and take pride in their own people’s history. The struggle to form an identity starts at a very young age and it needs to be properly tackled by both parents and educators. The dismantling of systemic racism can definitely commence at home. We’re here to show you how.
In this article, we’d like to uncover the immense importance of parental engagement and how the implementation of family engagement in schools can help us fight against the systemic racism that has been plaguing our nation for centuries.
How Can We Teach Children Our Real History?
It should come as no surprise that the current curriculum does not include the unabridged history of African-Americans.
There is no mention of the impressive history of educational self-help, neither of the fact that separation does not entail equality, nor of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education landmark. In fact, our youth is purposefully kept in the dark by a schooling system that simply refuses to acknowledge our ancestors’ fight for equity.
As responsible parents, we must tend to our children’s gaps in knowledge directly at home, or by encouraging them to join culturally affirming after school activities. Family engagement activities are some of the most effective tools when trying to dismantle centuries of systemic racism. After school activities are also an excellent way to connect our children to the consciousness of truth.
By engaging with our children in a fun and historically accurate manner, we’ll offer them the chance to finally break free of the predetermined agenda that the schooling system continuously enforces. The white schooling system’s main goal was to subjugate us and make us oblivious to the noble fight of our ancestors. This has in turn kept many first generation college students from achieving academic excellence. This has got to stop.
The self-aware adults of tomorrow need someone to guide their steps. The parents and educators must join forces and stand together against the adversity of systemic racism. It’s never too late to learn about one’s honorable ancestors.
Why Is Family Engagement Important?
As the Carnegie Corporation of New York so eloquently puts it, the invisible gap between home and school has been bridged in a way that is unprecedented. Suddenly, parents and educators have had to come together and help our youth overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve had to collaborate in a newfound way that enabled children to achieve better academic results.
By doing this, the parents got to notice the way in which their children usually interact with their educators and peers. They’ve also had the rare chance of watching the educators’ manners of teaching. It’s needless to say that family engagement activities have become a necessity nowadays.
The relationship between parents and teachers is gradually strengthening, all thanks to this unexpected reset that the pandemic has imposed. This will also have a positive effect on first generation college students’ ability to finish their academic journeys with stellar achievements.
It’s important to mention that development programs had adopted parental engagement activities long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. A wonderful example of such an initiative appears in the book titled Families and Educators Together: Building Great Relationships that Support Young Children.
The executive director of such a development program had implemented a weekly event called Parent Coffee Hour. Basically, parents were invited to enjoy a cup of coffee, along with a selection of yummy donuts and pastries that could be found in the lobby. As soon as they were done dropping off the children, they were kindly invited to sit down and savor a cup of hot coffee while discussing significant matters with the staff members.
The importance of family engagement in schools is tremendous. It’s the only way to stop the pandemic of systemic racism. Educators should be encouraged to embrace each family without biases and acknowledge their cultural backgrounds.
Our youth deserves to be celebrated and in no way belittled. Our first generation college students need to be constantly empowered. The elders have fought for our emancipation relentlessly and we can’t afford to lose our hard-earned privileges in this day and age.
The Conclusion Is…
Systemic racism can become endemic only if we take education seriously enough. The undeniable richness of our culture needs to become a part of the curriculum. Until we achieve this, we must implement family engagement in schools to bridge several gaps. After school activities are also a great alternative with proven benefits.
The Village Method provides culturally responsive youth development, family engagement, and community outreach programming. Pastor George M. Gaskins Jr. of Bethel Baptist Church in Union City, California has made it his life’s mission to empower our youth and provide them with the necessary tools so that they can one day give back to the communities that nurtured them.
Find out more about us and our mission by visiting our website and learning how you can help our community-based organization thrive and change.