When we see senseless violence all around us, our reaction often is to bury our heads in the sand & pretend like it doesn’t exist. That’s NOT ok, we should do the hard work of educating ourselves and our children about the social justice issues at hand today and how to be a part of the solution. One way to do that is through exploring books on social justice.
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I’ve read several books over the last few years that have opened my eyes & pushed me on this journey of exploration and learning (see my recommended books on social justice below) But the one I read just a few months ago tipped the scales for me, it was called “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson and it rocked my world. I was so compelled to learn more, I went to hear Bryan speak at a local university, he is a true inspiration. If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you to do so… it is just as the cover reads a story of justice and redemption, but it is also so much more. It is an eye opening account of not just the history of social issues in America, but the current state of our country.
I think too often we think that “America has come a long way in the issues of racism and social justice” but if you take the time to educate yourself on these issues you will see that we still have a LONG way to go.
As mothers, we are raising the next generation and it’s easy to forget how important OUR role is in SHAPING how the next generation views these same issues.
For me, this looks like educating myself and using that education to shape how I lead in my family, my church and my community. Educating myself is shaping my conversations with my children and leading to teaching moments. I pray these conversations shape them into people that make a difference and stand up for these social injustices. I encourage you to educate yourself as well… I’m including a few articles that I’ve come across and I hope to add more as I continue my exploration of learning. Start with education, but let’s not end there my friends, let’s step out and make a difference in our homes, in our communities, in our churches and in our world.
Hear me out, I am not trying to point fingers or add to the problem, my true heart here is for us to think outside of ourselves and see the world through a bigger lens… it’s time to do something, let’s not be silent my friends and this process starts in our homes!
I think it’s also important to remember that PRAYER is also a powerful part of this process. I LOVE the call to prayer that is unpacked here by Tasha and the If:Gathering team. The prayers of God’s people should lead us to places that we can step in and make a difference in all this!
Tasha (featured in this video) is a leading voice in the church and leads a great organization to help us better understand racial reconciliation and how we can play a part. Check out the great resources at Be a Bridge Builder!
UPDATED: This is a great article from Tasha in Christianity Today! Also check out this beautiful Unity Conversation between Jennie Allen & Tasha Morrison – this is long, but so good. Take some time this week to listen to their hearts on this subject.
Articles on Racial Issues:
Sarah Mae – Re-educating Myself (on Race, America, Learning, and Loving Others) – I read this one after the original publication of this post and her thoughts so echo my own, so I wanted to include it this time around!
The Seattle Times – Under our Skin Project – a very diverse interesting look at many of the terms we hear thrown around on the news…
Will talking to your kids about race make them Racist – this mom’s blog is filled with good info about talking with your children
Books about Social Justice to Teach Your Kids – great book list to educate your kids on the world and our history
If this subject pricks your heart… Annie Downs posted this great list with lots of ideas for how you can dive in deeper to this topic.
Lastly, I think it’s important for me to add that just because you are educating yourself does NOT mean that you need to share EVERYTHING you learn with your children. Personally, I use this information to shape conversations and teaching moments, I don’t give them wide open access to the media and details of all situations in the news. I share more with my 14 year old than I do with my 10 year old. You have to know your children and what is helpful for them and what is not.
Here are a some good posts about helping your child deal with uncertain times…
Find some other moms around you that are willing to walk this journey with you, I’m so thankful for my tribe that tackled some of these hard books together to grow in our understanding! I truly believe it is changing the way we parent and lead in the community around us! Change starts one step at a time, nothing changes if we refuse to acknowledge it’s a problem.
If your heart is burdened and you want to dive a little deeper into this topic, here is some book recommendations: (some I’ve personally read and others have come highly recommended):
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – this is the one I mentioned at the beginning of the post. It is a hard read as it describes incarceration with details you probably don’t want to know, but it’s important for you to know! Here’s a TedTalk by the author as well, good insightful stuff.
Cry Justice: The Bible on Hunger and Poverty by Ronald Sider – a great collection of what the Bible has to say about these issues. This book is out of print and therefore a little hard to find but I have linked to Abebooks.com in hopes that you can get your hands on a used copy for cheap!
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical – this book by Shane Claiborne who many characterize as a Mother Theresa of our time describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world
Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together – I read this one several years ago and it was such a great powerful read. An insightful look into what happens when a “rich” man befriends a “poor” man, everyone should read this one, it will change you!
Breaking Down Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife – surprisingly this book is 20 years old and the title is still just as relevant today – this book is also out of print and hard to find, but check out Abebooks.com to get your hands on a copy.
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker – I did this one as a bible study a couple of years ago with a group of ladies and we all walked away changed. Jen and her husband Brandon are trailblazers in social justice issues and they have a new great organization that allows you to be a part of making a difference around these issues called the Legacy Collective, check it out!
Share one thing below that you hope to pass on to the next generation around the idea of social injustice in the comments below:
Founder of The Praying Mom
This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world! Follow more of her journey HERE