Social Justice Family Events: November 2019

Family focus – Thanksgiving: In November, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings a mixed legacy of family, food, gratitude, and genocide. Many families struggle to figure out if and how to celebrate,  and how to talk to children about the true history of the relationship between the White settlers and the indigenous Native American populations. These blog posts provide some guidance and useful resources: (1) Do justice – what to say to kids about Pilgrims and Indians; (2) My reflection matters -shifting the conversation away from Thanksgiving; and (3) Socialist Worker – the real Thanksgiving story.

Family focus – Veteran’s day: Monday November 11 is Veteran’s Day. Consider strategies to help your children acknowledge the contribution of our current and former members of the armed forces.  Doing Good Together offers several suggestions, including writing letters, sending books, and creating welcome home kits. Two other good resources are Soldiers’ Angels and Operation Gratitude, which provide suggestions for a number of ways to support soldiers (including donating your leftover Halloween candy!)

Family focus – Engaging children in social justice: Many parents struggle with finding ways to start talking to children about social justice issues, and how to engage them in developmentally-appropriate ways. It doesn’t need to be difficult! Here are some resources that might help. Check out  Using play to teach children about social justice (Psych Central).  Not sure about whether engaging children in social justice is helpful or harmful? Check out “Activism isn’t just for adults and teens. We need to teach younger kids to be activists too” from Ideas.Ted.Com.

Family focus – Passage community birthday parties. The Birthday Party Project hosts monthly birthday parties at homeless and transitional living facilities across the country. They celebrate all children (ages 1-21) that have a birthday that month, and invite all children and family members staying at the agency to join them for the party. They bring everything needed for the event, but need volunteers to help set up, party, and clean up. Children age six and up can volunteer, when accompanied by an adult. The next event will be Thursday November 21 from 6-8 pm. Registration is available online. Contact  Candace Trevino for more information (

Family focus – Cook for Kids with the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. The Minneapolis Crisis Nursery  offers free, voluntary services for parents who face barriers such as unemployment, homelessness, medical or mental health concerns, poverty, domestic violence, or other difficult situations. They help strengthen families by connecting them to resources, caring for their children during difficult times, and setting goals that promote self-sufficiency and make the relationship between the parent and child stronger. Cook for Kids is a great opportunity for families, friends, or clubs to spend a couple of hours giving back to their community. Groups of up to 6 people come to the Nursery to cook and serve a meal to children in our care. Opportunities are available daily to help provide breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Shifts are two hours. Families with children age 12 and older are welcome to participate. Registration is available online. Contact Keith Johnson for more information (, 612.767.8483).

Family focus – Walk to end hunger 2019. The Walk to End Hunger is an all-ages family-friendly 5K fun walk presented by The Mosaic Company. The Walk to End Hunger, held on Thanksgiving morning in the Mall of America, is a great way to start your holiday off right – giving back before you give thanks! Since its inception in 2008, the Walk to End Hunger has raised over $2,800,000 to help support hunger relief organizations working to eliminate hunger in the Twin Cities metro area. The walk takes place on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28. Walkers can participate for as long as they’d like from 7- 10am. Park in the East Parking Ramp on level P1 or P2. Registration will take place on floors 1 and 2 of the East Broadway entrance, right by SeaLife. Walk registration is also available online.


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