Holly Willoughby leads by example on what white parents can do to educate children about racism

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  • Holly Willoughby is among some of the British celebrities leading by example on how white parents can talk to children about racism.

    The TV star took to Instagram to tell her fans and followers what she’s planning on doing to educate her children following the death of George Floyd in the US.

    George died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His death sparked a worldwide conversation about racism – not just about overt hate crimes or speech, but the structural inequalities that are present everywhere.

    Resposting a print created by American activist, poet and artist Cleo Wade urging people to start the conversation about racism at their dinner table, Holly wrote, ‘For me it’s the responsibility I have as a parent that my children understand the importance of these words. ‘I know they do already, however these are important conversations to have. Conversations that can never be had and emphasised enough…’

    Cleo, who’s half black, made the print for her daughter’s room but is now selling it for the first time, with 100% of the proceeds going to The Antiracist Research & Policy Centre. The organisation’s mission is to help varied specialists find practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.

    Giovanna Fletcher also joined the conversation, sharing a post highlighting the importance of people educating themselves on the many ways racism affects black communities.

    ‘We must do better. Read. Watch. Learn. Donate. Sign petitions. And we must look at our own lives and have those difficult conversations. We aren’t meant to have all the answers, but we can listen, learn and adapt. #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd #enoughisenough’, she wrote.

    If you’d like to take action but don’t know where to start, there are a lot of resources online available on what your next steps should be.

    View this post on Instagram

    Social media has been a bit overwhelming since I first put up this post so it has taken some time for me to post this. On Friday, I shared this content on Twitter after I felt the conversations online were like screaming into an echo chamber. I wanted to provide those who wanted to support and be an ally with practical tips to move forward and make a change in our society. I am still somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by the reception so please take patience with me at this time. — For a note on who I am to those who have followed me from Twitter, my name is Mireille. I'm an assistant editor and I do freelance writing, PR and sensitivity reading and other bits on the side. I am extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion, and everything I have shared is not new knowledge to me. From as far back as I can remember I've been campaigning, fighting for equality and supporting and working with black owned organisations. I have worked in the diversity and inclusion space for around four years and I have been equipped with knowledge, skills etc through that work as well as through wider, intensive reading and being raised by a Jamaican mother who has a degree in Women's Studies. I felt as a mixed race person who was emotionally capable despite the current situation that I could use my learned experience, skills and compassion to offer this advice to allies and anyone else who was seeking advice but didn't know where to turn. This is now on my stories as a highlight so please feel free to share from there or here. — A small reminder that this took emotional labour and POC, especially black people are not here to teach you everything. When I said ask how you can support, I meant on a personal level as a friend etc. I hope this toolkit provides you with the starter info you need but there are genuinely people more experienced than me who warrant your listening to – please go and follow @nowhitesaviors, @laylafsaad, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, @iamrachelricketts, @thegreatunlearn, @renieddolodge, @ibramxk + a few more: @akalamusic, @katycatalyst + @roiannenedd who all have books or resources from many more years of experience. _ Peace, love and light 🙏🏼❤️🌟

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    Reading on the topic, signing petitions, donating to relevant organisations, supporting black-owned businesses (check out Jammi, a new discount card & discovery platform for Black British brands) are just some of the positive actions you can take right now if you’d like to help.