In honor of Martin Luther King

CrayonsAs the mother of four multiracial boys, people have been asking me what I think about all of the racial tensions and injustices in our country.  How are my husband and I preparing our children? What is our experience?

As a professional, I am committed to connecting people and to empowering people to rethink their own attitudes about aging and older people.

Merging the two, I am now encouraging professionals to do away with the terms “black and white” but rather use shades of brown.  In each Bridges kit we provide a community, we now include a package of Crayola’s Multicultural Markers.  They markers contain eight skin tones of differing shades of brown.  How wonderful to be able to validate a child’s beautiful skin color?!  How empowering to help children realize we are not black – nor are we white.  Just as our hair is different as well as the shapes of our bodies and our distinct personalities, so too is the richness of our skin tones.

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King professed:  “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

As we continue to break down the barriers of black and white in so many ways – including the stark and inaccurate terminology – we open the doors to seeing skin color as one of many ways to identify a person – not THE primary way to identify a person.  Little by little, the “content of their character” does in fact become more powerful and Dr. King’s dream comes to fruition – one person, one encounter at a time.

Click here for a helpful activity sheet about ways to celebrate diversity today and every day!

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