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Don't shy away from talking about race to your kids. Start when they are young

2 December 2020 11:45 AM
Tags:
Race

'Difference is not the problem, but our biases around difference are the problem, says social justice advocate Lovelyn Nwadeyi.

Recent racially charged events once again reminded us that we cannot simply move on from our painful past. We need to engage it, says Refilwe Moloto.

When is the right time to talk about race to your children you may ask? As soon as possible, and today's guests discuss how.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Founder and Director of L&N Advisors, a consulting practice whose sole purpose is to see social justice normalised and Dr Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist join Refilwe Moloto in conversation about when and how to do this.

Agarwal, author of Wish We Knew What to Say: Talking with Children About Race talks about her life as an immigrant parent in the United Kingdom raising her children.

We think our children are growing up in a very unbiased way.

Dr Pragya Agarwal, Behavioural scientist and author

I was, much like many first-generation immigrants, trying to fit in trying to confirm, trying not to draw attention to difference. And I think a lot of people do that, a lot of immigrants and a lot of people of colour do that - but then realise that difference still exists.

Dr Pragya Agarwal, Behavioural scientist and author

By not talking to our children about it, we are dismissing a lot of the histories and legacies of oppression that different people might have carried because of their skin colour or cultural context.

Dr Pragya Agarwal, Behavioural scientist and author

Just because difference exists does not mean we are unequal, and I think that is very important to focus on.

Dr Pragya Agarwal, Behavioural scientist and author

Lovelyn Nwadeyi says one of the challenges of how we talk about race in South Africa is that there is a level of dishonesty in conversations about race.

We prefer to gloss over history, gloss over difference, goss over how our history is still very much part of our present.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Founder and Director - L&N Advisors

The consequence of that is many of our children, but especially in South Africa, many white children and children of the upper classes, are not well prepared to live in society when they have to leave their high-school bubble...they are often not well prepared to exist in the real world.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Founder and Director - L&N Advisors

They have been raised in this bubble that says everyone is the same, everyone is equal, difference does not matter -which is nonsensical.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Founder and Director - L&N Advisors

Difference is not the problem. Research tells us that children see differences from a very early age and that's just part of their own processing of the world....the problem is our biases around difference.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Founder and Director - L&N Advisors

Listen to this insightful discussion below:


2 December 2020 11:45 AM
Tags:
Race

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