Posts for activism

I can’t take my kid with special needs to the Women’s March. Here’s what I Can Do…

Go Girl! - Allison Kenny - January 20, 2017

A month ago, my best friend called me and we sobbed. We both felt despair that the man running for President of our country admitted to groping women without their consent.

Today, he moved into the White House and 600 groups of women all over the world are marching in protest. My friend and I were determined to take action in some way. But marching with our young daughters (mine with special needs), felt like more than we could take on. My daughter is highly sensitive to crowds, to yelling, to cold, to other people’s emotions. Participating in the Women’s March would likely trigger a trauma response and days of violent fits. But this is a moment in history we don’t want to miss. I want to look back on this time and know for sure that I was intentional and conscious. I want to model a balance between self-care and activism for my little girl.

My friend and I knew that if we got our families together, we could come up with something meaningful to do even if we had to stay home. So, my BFF packed up her little girl and is making her trek to my house in Oakland right this minute. I think we came up with a pretty great plan for our Go Girls!

Read more about it on the Spotlight: Girls blog….

 

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How We Explained Trump to Our Little Girl

Go Girl! - Allison Kenny - December 16, 2016

On November 8th, my wife made her famous mac & cheese. We put out wine and olives and opened our home to some of our favorite folks. Beloved teachers from our Go Girls! Camp squished up on the couch with our little girl, who grinned the biggest smile of her life. She was getting to stay up late and watch part of the election in her pajamas. We were making space to celebrate a historic moment…the moment we could show our little Go Girl that a woman could, in fact become President.

We all know what happened instead.

Neither my wife or I were huge Hilary fans. We were tracking her imperfections. But as mothers and girl advocates, we could not support putting a bully in power. That’s how we had to explain it to our little girl. When she climbed into our bed in the morning and noticed Mama Lynn’s eyes were almost swollen shut from weeping, we had to tell her that we were very surprised but Hilary had not won after all.

“Oh no,” she said. “Mama…is Hilary very sad this morning?” That was our daughter’s first response. Empathy. Oh, it killed me.

And after that, “Why can’t we just be happy for Mr. Trump and celebrate him for winning?” That’s what we teach her, after all. If you lose at Candyland, you congratulate the winner and play again. Why was this different? Because for our family- a queer, multi-racial, adoptive family- this election communicated something about our safety and security in the country we call home. Electing Trump means choosing to give a bully a lot of power, putting all vulnerable groups at risk.

“You’re right, baby,” I told her. “Usually, our job is to be happy for the winner and listen to their ideas, even if they are different from our own. The reason we are so upset about Trump winning is that he sometimes uses his power to hurt people.  He believes that people with white skin are better than people with brown skin. He thinks it’s okay to touch women’s bodies without asking. His ideas are not just different from ours, they are wrong. Our job now is to stand up for what we believe and speak out about what’s right. And in the future, the grown-ups will do everything we can to elect leaders who are fair and kind.”

“Mommy, can we make a poster about what we believe in and send it to Washington DC?” Of course.

So, we got writing. Here is what she made.

To: Trump

NO SLAVES

Be nice

Love: Heaven

That about sums it up.

 

How are you talking about election results with your kids?

 

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