Diversity, inclusion and equity consultant and mother of five biracial kids Traci Baxley says that parenting can be a form of activism in itself. Baxley draws on her own experiences as a Black mother – including navigating conversations about racism and helping her children develop self-confidence – to share a call to action for parents: Raise children who understand the value of social justice and empower them to create meaningful change as adults. Grounding her parenting philosophy in radical love, Baxley aims to help you raise kinder and more self-reliant children.
Build a social justice-oriented home by showing children radical love.
Radical love, the basis of social justice parenting, means loving one another unconditionally – even when doing so is challenging. When parents show children radical love, they help them grow into their authentic selves and teach them to stand up for themselves, see injustice and be empathetic toward others.
Creating a social justice-oriented home is an ongoing process that includes the following:
- Making commitments to yourself and your children about how you’ll navigate the world as a team.
- Giving family members room to make their own experiences and explore their interests.
- Being “pro-justice” – which means not just recognizing injustice, but acting against it.
- Building communication and collaboration skills to better understand and stay connected with one another.
- Holding people accountable for their actions.
Reflection, open dialogue, compassion, kindness and social justice engagement (”ROCKS”) are at the center of social justice parenting. They build upon the foundation of radical love:
Traci Baxley is a consultant, parenting coach, educator, speaker and the co-author of (In)Visible Presence: Feminist Counter-Narratives of Young Adult Literature Written by Women of Color.