‘No action is too small’

Anti-racism consultant Destine Lord spoke at the third GDST Talks event, advising parents on how to empower their children to address racism

Destine LordDestine Lord gave GDST parents invaluable advice on how to empower their own children to address racism in the latest event in the GDST Talks series. The anti-racism consultant said the key was to open up conversations with children, in order to address, discuss and help overcome racism. As parents, she said, we can model behaviour that sets the tone and encourages children to question racist behaviour and challenge societal norms that have allowed certain practices to stand.

Leave your young people with a sense of hope that they can effect change.”

“Racism is not about being unkind”, Destine explained. “You can be a kind racist or an unkind anti-racist. It is about recognising racist intentions and actions, and the need to hold those responsible accountable.” It is also important to be actively anti-racist, recognising that concepts such as colour-blindness are not necessarily helpful, since they imply a majority colour and can reinforce the idea of a colour hierarchy. Destine explained: “Don’t shush your kids when they talk about race and how other people might look different to them; you can use the discomfort you feel to help to guide conversations.”

“Don’t shush your kids when they talk about race … use the discomfort to guide conversations.”

Addressing and discussing racism can happen as part of everyday family life; here are a few of Destine’s practical pointers: 

  1. Look at your social network: is it diverse? If your children don’t see diversity in their parents’ friendship groups, they may mirror this in their own. Diversity brings about empathy and understanding, essential tools in overcoming racism.
  2. Diversify the products you have in your home. Make sure the heroes in your children’s books represent different racial viewpoints. The same goes for their playthings and the films they watch.
  3. Buy your products from racialised companies and shops which have clear messaging on their approach to equality and diversity. Use this as a story you can share about why your child sees these products in your house.
  4. Make sure your conversations, although initially uncomfortable, end  on an optimistic and positive note. Leave your young person with a sense of hope that they can bring about change through their actions.

“Thank you to the GDST family for confronting and discussing racism and unconscious bias in our world.” (A GDST parent)

Feedback from parents

‘Thank you to the GDST family for confronting and discussing racism and unconscious bias in our world.’

‘Thank you for giving us new ways to think tonight.’

‘It has been so refreshing to hear someone discuss racism in such an eloquent and confident manner.’

If you would like to watch Destine Lord’s talk, you can access a recording below until 10th February 2021. 

GDST Talks continues in 2021 with Professor Abi Gewirtz talking about How to Support Your Child When The World Feels Like A Scary Place on Thursday 14th January (tickets here), and youtuber and founder of Digital Awareness Charlotte Robertson on How To Be A Tech Role Model For Our Children on Monday 8th February – tickets available soon.