April 21, 2018 | Saturday, 10 a.m.-Noon
Jennifer Harvey: Raising White Kids
Plymouth Church is committed to learning and growing in the work of anti-racism as a spiritual practice that we can engage in our everyday lives. Join local author Jennifer Harvey and the Des Moines chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) in this community conversation about the ways we parents, teachers, Sunday School leaders, grandparents, coaches and more can support each other—and the work of racial justice—by raising justice committed white children.
During a program Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-noon in Waveland Hall, we will hear insights from Dr. Harvey’s new book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America. You may read the book’s introduction and find out more at RaisingWhiteKids.com.
This event is free. Donations will be accepted to be given to local people of color-led organizations with which DSM SURJ has a relationship of accountability (for example, Al Éxito, which provides programming to build the leadership potential of Latino/a youth through college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support, and celebration of culture). Coffee and light breakfast items will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided to offer a chance for extended conversation following Dr. Harvey’s presentation.
There exist powerful and difficult conundrums when it comes to raising white children, for racial justice, in a society like ours. Should we teach them to be “colorblind”? Or, should we teach them to notice race? What roles do we want them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? How do we best do that? On top of it all, when we talk about race well we have to talk about the reality of white privilege and racial injustice. How do we teach about race honestly, then, without making our children feel bad about being white?
Important public discussion exists in regard to the impact of race and racism on children of color. But, deep understanding of the impact of race and racism on white children is lacking. We need to develop strategies and relationships of support to respond to this collective lack, because raising “healthy” (meaning, antiracist) white kids is a critical investment in the well-being and futures of all of our children. So, whether you’ve been a white kid, are helping raise white kids, have relationships with people who used to be white kids, or have children in your life who are friends with white kids—this conversation is for everyone.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is a writer, speaker, and professor at Drake University. Her work focuses on racial justice and white anti-racism. Dr. Harvey’s most recent books include Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America (Abingdon Press, January 2018) and Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation (Wm. B. Eerdmans). Dr. Harvey also contributes to New York Times and Huffington Post and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches (U.S.A.).