Social Justice Family Events: January/February

NEWLY ADDED EVENTS/ACTIVITIES! (as of 1/24/20)

Family focus – Youth day at the capital – February 25, 2020. Youth (middle school or older) may be interested in attending Youth Day at the Capital. The event includes  advocacy training, meetings with legislators, and the opportunity to check out exhibits Minnesota History Center. Learn more and register on  EventBrite.

Family focus – Mom’s Rising.  A useful social justice resource to check out is Mom’s Rising. Mom’s Rising is a national network of citizens taking on critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions to: (a) Bring the voices and real world experiences of women and mothers straight to our local, state, and nation’s leaders; (b) Amplify women’s voices and policy issues in the national dialogue & in the media across all platforms (from print, to radio, to blogs, social media, and more); (c) Accelerate grassroots impact on Capitol Hill and at state capitols across the country; and (d) Hold corporations accountable for fair treatment of women and mothers & for ensuring the safety of their products. Their website provides recommended action items and opportunities to stay informed via email or text regarding issues such as workplace justice, maternal justice gun safety, health care, immigration, and others.

Family focus – Valentine’s Day ideas. According to at least some stories, Valentine’s Day has a history rooted in overcoming injustice. Learn more at Teaching Tolerance, along with discussion questions and activities geared to helping elementary and middle school youth ensure that Valentine’s day is celebrated in ways that are inclusive and welcoming. Families can also take the Doing Good Together Valentine’s-themed 28 days of kindness challenge.

Family focus Women’s Prison Book Project pancake breakfast.  Attend the Women’s Prison Book Project pancake breakfast and book sale, where one activity will be making Valentine’s Day cards for political prisoners. The breakfast will be held on Saturday February 8 at Walker United Methodist Church (3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN). The fundraiser costs $6-10 for adults and $3 for kids. Learn more on their website.

Family focus –African American history month.  February is African American history month. There are many good resources available for teaching kids of all ages about African American history. Here are some useful starting points: (1) list of resources compiled by The University of Illinois Extension and (2) book lists compiled by AdLit.org and Social  Justice Books.

Family focus – Raising racially conscious children.  Here are a few interesting resources for parents striving to raise racially conscious children. Check out “4 Things We Should All Teach Kids About Racism Right Now” from Black Girl Dangerous and “6 Things White Parents Can Do to Raise Racially Conscious Children” from Everyday Feminism.

Family focus – Honoring Martin Luther King. As we remember and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, this is a great time to talk to children about King’s legacy, the civil rights movement, and racial equity. There are numerous resources online, but here are a few suggestions to get started: (1) Black Enterprise’s “The best online resources for learning about MLK; (2) Time magazine’s “How to talk to your kids about Martin Luther King any day of the year”; and (3) Parent Map’s recommendations for 7 apps for kids to learn about the Civil Rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. New Years.

Family focus – Meal servers. Families are invited to come help serve meals at a number of local shelters. Several are especially welcoming for families with children. People Serving People is a non-profit shelter for families, providing housing for 350 people each night. They allow children age 12 or older to be meal servers. Another good option is House of Charity, which provides hot, free meals to over 350 people each day. They allow volunteers age 9 or older to help serve meals. Consider signing up once, or as an ongoing family commitment. Learn more and register on their websites.

Family focus – Write For Rights. Older youth (approximately age 13 and up) may be interested in participating in Write for Rights, Amnesty International’s largest annual human rights campaign. Through the power of collective action, people around the world write letters to convince government officials to free people unjustly imprisoned and end other abuses. This year’s 10 cases are all young people under threat for standing up for human rights.  The website provides a number of resources and guides to support letter writing efforts. The website also includes materials geared for educators, some of which can be adapted for use by parents. Letters need to be written by January 31, 2020. 

Family focus – Compassionate and justice-oriented gift giving. For many, the holidays are upon us, bringing a variety of gift-giving opportunities. There are numerous online resources available with recommendations for gift selection, including Barefoot Mommy’s Feminist kid gift guide, A Striving Parent’s social justice holiday gift guide (from 2017, but still relevant), and Doing Good Together’s Shop Kind site (which provides information about “kind vendors” along with a “big hearted” Amazon list). You might also want to check out this article from Doing Good Together, which focuses on strategies to combat consumerism in our children.

Family focus – Talking to children about racism and social injustice. It’s from 2018, but this two-part article from The Advocate has some useful tips for having these important conversations with children (part one and part two).


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