The upcoming Alt Right Rally scheduled for August 12th may be challenging for youth in our community. For some, it may trigger feelings of stress and fear. This may include: memories of experiences they've had, stories they've heard, or worries that are part of their daily life already.
For youth who have not personally experienced racial bias or injustice, they may feel confused or unsettled knowing that this is taking place in a community that otherwise has felt safe to them. Either way, we are here to help.
Below are some tips and resources that we hope you will find helpful.
- Media-coverage can increase fears and anxiety in children, graphic images and stories may be particularly upsetting but also can be a great way to launch conversations about what is happening and how you and your family can be part of a positive solution.
- Discuss together what's happening and reflect on your own experiences and feelings. Keep an open dialogue and seize opportunities for communication.
Plan time away from the event and coverage of the event.
Make a plan ahead of time about how you'll respond if you find yourself in a stressful situation or confronted with racial bias/injustice so that if it happens you'll be ready to respond safely and constructively.
Seek help if you're struggling or if you feel treated unfairly. Our teen hotline is available for you 24/7 and we'd be happy to talk about community resources, be a sounding board, or help advocate for change wherever we can. That number is 434-972-7233.
Building ToleranceThings youth can do to build tolerance:
- Appreciate their own and others' cultural values
- Object to ethnic, racist, and sexist jokes
- Refrain from labeling people
- Not judge others, especially for things they have no control over
Adults are integral in providing a positive, healthy example for youth to follow. By being tolerant themselves, they can pass that behavior onto the youth with whom they interact.
Things adults can do to help youth:
- Educate the community about hate crimes and diversity
- Making sure that those who work closely with youth (teachers, school administrators, police officers) receive diversity training
- Help develop constructive activities for youth
10 ways youth can engage in activism - While we do not encourage youth in our community to attend the upcoming rally, we do encourage youth to find positive outlets to express their passion for whatever is closest to their hearts. This link provides some suggestions for safe and constructive ways for youth to make a difference.
Culture and Trauma - This compilation of resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network contains several resources useful for increasing cultural awareness, sensitivity and understanding for anyone working with diverse youth and families.
Making Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice - This article is aims at helping adults facilitate conversations that will engage youth in a constructive dialogue about what they may be seeing on the news.
Book Suggestions - Books can be a powerful tool for helping youth navigate difficult topics. This link contains a comprehensive list of suggestions for all ages.