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Updated: Oct 8, 2018

My first-grade son recently came home with a writing prompt for homework: "If I was an explorer...." In support of fostering independent thought, I sat patiently while he finished writing his ending ".....I will look for dinosaur bones in caves." Then we discussed other possible endings:

"....I would respect the people I met and the land I touched."

"....I would not hurt anyone."

"....I would go to space."

This is only the beginning, as we look over a 4-page activity packet about Columbus and I fear/get angry-in-advance over the paper head dresses and pilgrim hats I foresee next month. With this in mind, and for Indigenous People's Day on October 8, here are resources to start conversations, ask questions, celebrate and critique with our children, families and classrooms for the un-schooling of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.

Rethinking Columbus from Rethinking Schools

Reconsider Columbus Day from Teaching Tolerance

A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving for Educators and Families compiled by Border Crossers

Books for children and families:

#IndigenousReads by Indigenous Writers: A Children's Reading List

Encounter, by Jane Yolen

Morning Girl, by Michael Dorris

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell

Squanto's Journey, by Michael Bruchac

The past few weeks have been a new level of heart-wrenching anger with the separation of families at the U.S. border and the realities that thousands of youth are facing in detention centers and a child welfare system that embodies institutionalized racism. As parents, caregivers, and educators, we often feel the desperate need to do something, including and beyond a conversation or dialogue. Here are some resources to help with that something:

Families Belong Together national day of action - June 30, 2018: search for a protest or event by zip code

Playdate Protest Action Guide #FreeOurFamilies

More on #FreeOurFamilies Protest Playdates and how you can organize or participate

Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events - Family Separations and Detentions at the Border (from the ADL)

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has created a list of ways you can show your support beyond donations, including protesting and contacting elected officials, and Quartz makes additional suggestions.

John More/Getty Images

Like many families, we have been waiting for the film "Black Panther" with much excitement and anticipation. Our love of comic books and superhero lore combined with our work for justice and greater representation in media made the coming of this film a special event. The film explores and opens dialogue on issues of colonialism, global responsibility, race, culture, community, gender roles, technology, the CIA, villain-or-victim, representation (and lack of) and more. It is not a perfect film, but it is important and meaningful in many ways. Below are some valuable resources for talking about, and teaching about, "Black Panther" focused on a variety of these issues and for different audiences and contexts.

5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Black Panther"

How Parents Can Talk About "Black Panther" with Young Kids

Wakanda Curriculum

The "Black Panther" Reader

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