Joint Statement from the Decolonizing Childhood Coalition
July 9, 2019
We, the members of the Decolonizing Childhood Coalition (DCC), have come together to stand in solidarity with immigrant families and call on our communities to act. We condemn immoral US immigration policies, which have set off a humanitarian crisis and caused catastrophic harm to families crossing the US-Mexico border.
We are a collective of child-centered organizations dedicated to race-conscious parenting, telling kids the truth about systems of injustice, and helping to bring about a more just and free world by activating young people as forces for change. We are parents, caregivers, artists, authors, and educators.
We are outraged by the mounting, evidence-based reports of inhumane treatment of families being traumatized after risking everything to cross the border — held in freezing temperatures; lights on 24 hours a day; no adequate access to medical care, water, or food; forced to sleep on concrete floors in dangerously overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Children separated from their families for weeks, months, or forever. Parents who say they hear their children cry at night in their dreams. Children forced to care for other children.
Like many Trump administration policies, these actions are designed to demonize, target, and destroy communities of color. In the face of these horrific, deadly policies, we cannot look away. We must act. There are steps each one of us can take RIGHT NOW to raise our voices in protest and respond to critical needs of immigrant families:
GIVE: From now through July 13, you can support our fast-action fundraising drive by donating $7 to Immigrant Families Together, a rapid-response network of activists committed to the reunification of families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy and other immigration detention actions at the border.
The $7 amount honors the number of children known to have died so far in immigration custody. But any contribution, from $1 to $1,000, will help us get children out of cages and reunite them with their families.
ORGANIZE: Can you stand vigil outside an ICE detention center? Great. Can you set up a lemonade stand? Also great. Resisting injustice can take many forms. On July 12-13, thousands of mass actions are planned across the US and worldwide under the Lights for Liberty banner. These actions can and should include kids!
In Boston, MA, kids will wheel around a city pond in a Solidarity Scoot. In Gross Point, MI, kids will host a Welcoming Everyone bake sale. In Oakland, CA, parents at a Close the Camps! training will learn the basics of nonviolent direct action. Start here to find a local action, or organize your own.
ENGAGE KIDS: Kids have an innate, hard-wired sense of fairness. Through picture books, performance, art-making, role-play, games, marches, and honest conversation, our collective has been committed to engaging kids in dynamic, age-appropriate ways to foster their sense of agency in the face of injustice. Understand what is happening to children at the border, and find ways you can talk to your kids about immigration, deportation, and the forces that cause refugees to seek asylum.
Signed by members of the Decolonizing Childhood Coalition:
Wee The People
Raising Luminaries: Books For Littles
Hold the Line
The Conscious Kid
Parenting For Liberation
Queer Kid Stuff
Innosanto Nagara, author
My Reflection Matters
Philly Children’s Movement
Gabi Garcia Books
Teachers 4 Social Justice
Illustrated Children’s Ministry
The Tiny Activist
I’m Your Neighbor Books
Little Justice Leaders
The Student Ignition Society
Dr. Kim Parker, #DisruptTexts co-founder
Liz Phipps-Soerio, educator
Beatriz Zapater, educator
Children’s book list
- Two White Rabbits/ Dos Conejos Blancos
- The Border: My Journey with Papa / La Frontera: El viaje con Papá
- Dreamers / Soñadores
- My Diary From Here to There/ Mi Diario de Aqui Hasta Alla
- My Shoes and I / Mis zapatos y yo: Cruzando tres fronteras
- From North to South / Del Norte al Sur
- Calling the Doves / El Canto de las Palomas
- Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
- Mango Moon
- Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
- Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight
- The Journey
- The Day the War Came
- From Far Away
- Hannah is My Name
- A Is For Activist
- The Wedding Portrait
- When A Bully Is President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times
- We Say NO!: A Child’s Guide to Resistance