Belonging: How my sense of belonging also allowed me to feel entitled.

Chapter 25 of Waking Up White: and finding myself in the story of RACE by Debbie Irving

Did you or your parents ever ask for specific teachers or classroom placement? Did you or your parents ever volunteer for a school role, such as room parent of committee chair? How might you navigate those situations differently now? List three specific ways for a white parent both to be involved and to be inclusive of parents of color.

I don’t think my parents ever asked for a specific room or teacher when I was in school, and I know I never did as a parent. I was the oldest of four children, and I remember asking my mother to be room mother, but she never had the time. I did help out with a school-wide musical performance once, but only because the woman who was running it was a friend of mine. It never would have occurred to me to do it on my own.

If I were a room mother now, I would make an effort to get to know all the parents of the class – preferably in person at a back-to-school night, but failing that, I would make contact by phone or social media with the other parents. It might be more difficult if they spoke a different language, but even in that case, I would try to find someone to help translate for me.

I can remember growing up in Houston, my mother made friends with some of the Mexican mothers in my class, and they traded casseroles and recipes.

If you would like to join me as I blog about my experiences with race, please read the book. It was life changing for me.

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