Guiding Principles

As we think about discussing big ideas with little people, we consider age-appropriate language so that our students or children can grasp the concepts we’re introducing and incorporate these ideas and language into their own thinking and conversation.

After each principle, there is some language you might want to use when talking to young children, written by Laleña Garcia

 

Whenever possible, make connections to children’s lived experience, in your classroom, your home, or out in the world.

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Restorative Justice is the commitment to build a beloved and loving community that is sustainable and growing

“We know that if you hurt somebody, you have to help them feel better; you can’t just say, 'Sorry,' and walk away."

Empathy is one’s ability to connect with others by building relationships built on mutual trust and understanding

“It’s so important to think about how other people feel, because different people have different feelings."

 

"Sometimes it helps to think about how you would feel if the same thing that happened to your friend happened to you."

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Loving Engagement is the commitment to practice justice, liberation and peace.

“It’s so important to make sure that we are always trying to be fair and peaceful, and to treat other people with love.  And we have to keep practicing this so that we can get better and better at it."

Diversity is the celebration and acknowledgment of differences and commonalities across cultures.

“Different people do different things and have different feelings.  It’s so important that we have lots of different kinds of people in our community and that everyone feels safe."

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Globalism is our ability to see how we are impacted or privileged within the Black global family that exists across the world in different regions.

“We are thinking about all the different people all over the world, and thinking about the ways to keep things fair everywhere."

Transgender Affirming is the commitment to continue to make space for our trans siblings while doing the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk.

“Everybody has the right to choose their own gender by listening to their own heart and mind.  Everyone gets to choose if they are a girl, boy, both, neither or something else, and no one else gets to choose for them."

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Queer Affirming is working towards a queer-affirming network where heteronormative thinking no longer exists.

"Everybody has the right to choose who they love and the kind of family they want by listening to their own heart and mind."

Collective Value means that all Black lives matter.

“Everybody is important, and has the right to be safe and happy, no matter what they believe, where they are from, or who they love.  Another way to say that is collective value.”

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Intergenerational is a space free from ageism where we can learn from each other.

“It’s important that we have spaces where people of different ages can come together and learn from each other."

Black Families creates a space that is family friendly and free from patriarchal practices.

“There are lots of different kinds of families; what makes a family is that it’s people who take care of each other.  It’s important to make sure that all families feel welcome.”

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Black Villages is the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the “collective village” that takes care of each other.

“There are lots of different kinds of families; what makes a family is that it’s people who take care of each other; those people might be related, or maybe they choose to be family together and to take care of each other.  Sometimes, when it’s lots of families together, it can be called a village.”

Black Women is the building of women-centered spaces free from sexism, misogyny, and male-centeredness.

“There are some people who think that women are less important than men.  All people are important and have the right to be safe and talk about their own feelings.”

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Unapologetically Black is the affirmation that Black Lives Matter and that our love, and desire for justice are prerequisites for wanting that for others. 

“There are lots of different kinds of people and one way that we’re different is the color of our skin.  It’s important to make sure that all people are treated fairly."