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Workshops hope to help parents talk to children about race

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 23:36:39-04

HENDRICKS COUNTY — A Hendricks County mom is using her voice, experience, and community connections to help educate people on how to talk about race with their kids.

Natalie Brake, a mom of three, thinks all parents should talk to their kids about race and its role in our society. She is the chair for the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity.

"You'll see that child who's in the supermarket and they'll say 'Why does that person's skin not match mine?' and instead of having an open, honest conversation with that child, we shush them," Brake said.

She thinks moments like this can turn into a powerful lesson for kids.

"They learn that talking about race is something bad and we would like to turn that conversation around into a positive thing," Brake said.

Some may wonder why Brake, a white woman, is so passionate about this issue.

"One of my children has autism, so, looking at it through his lens, there's no quiet voice for him," Brake said. "There's topics where he doesn't always understand the social cues about it. When he meets someone new, he wants to know what color they call their skin, why are they so tall, and why is their hair long or short."

Because she's had to talk to him about everything, she has a unique perspective when talking to and educating people who look like her about race.

"Even well-intended people can say things and do things considered racist in our society and we need to own up to it," Brake said.

The Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity has teamed up with Child Care Answers to host "Talking to Children About Race."

The goal of the training is to help parents and caregivers become more proactive when talking with their children about race.

Brake says the interest in these types of workshops has been overwhelming and it's something she likes to see because it shows people in the community want to learn, educate their children, and help make the world a better place.

"You can't expect your kids to have those conversations with you if you aren't willing to have the conversation with them," Brake said.

The next workshop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 14. You can register here.