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White Parents, Black Children:
Raising Children of Color in a Divided World

March 24, 2018
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM MST

Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center
4520 N. Central Avenue, Suite 600
Phoenix, Arizona 85012

A symposium  by Diamond Strategies in collaboration with The Levitt Group

“Inspiring, Achieving, and Celebrating Inclusion”

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In White Parents, Black Children, Dr. Darron T. Smith, argues “despite the long history of troubled and fragile race relations in the United States, some people believe the U.S. may be entering a post-racial state where race no longer matters, citing evidence like the increasing number of transracial adoptions to make this point.” On the contrary, “racism remains a factor for many [children of color] with White parents.  These children, often “raised in white homes, are not exempt from racism, and white parents are often naive about the experiences their children encounter.”  This arrests identity formation, familial cohesion, ally building, and cultural affinity.  Without affinity, children of color often enter adulthood ill-prepared to thrive in a world that is far from “post-racial.”

“Adolescents who do not have a stable racial identity show lower self-esteem (Sanchez et al., 2009). As such, it is vital for mixed race families to speak to their biracial or multiracial children about their mixed race and foster pride in their background.” – Astrea Greig

Karen Valby, in “The Reality of Raising Kids of a Different Race,” asks “How do white parents help their children of color thrive?  In our own adoption training I mostly remember sitting in our agency’s room with other prospective white parents nibbling on fruit and cheese, listening to white people talk about race.  The main takeaways were hopelessly broad.”

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, “ The number of mixed-race families in America is steadily increasing, due to a rise in interracial marriages and relationships, as well as an increase in transracial and international adoptions. Publicity surrounding prominent Americans of mixed cultural heritage, such as athletes, actors, musicians, and politicians, has highlighted the issues of multicultural individuals and challenged long-standing views of race. However, despite some changes in laws and evolving social attitudes, multiracial children still face significant challenges.”

“Parents who believe they can raise their child color-blind are making a terrible mistake.  Look at the adult adoptees who have committed suicide, or who have substance abuse problems. Love was not enough for them.” – Mark Hagland

Solution

White parents and their allies need a safe space in which to discuss “racial socialization” with qualified, experienced professionals, so their children of color are empowered to navigate a highly racialized world.  We will share relevant research, address current trends, offer instructive and inspirational stories, and provide a road map for helping rear informed and well-adjusted and children of color.

“I think every adoptee inevitably is going to go through a period where the shock of race is real.  It can happen when you’re 8 or 13 or 28. And when you’re really depressed and feel really different you don’t want to hear love is enough. That’s b—s— because I wouldn’t be feeling like this if that were true.” – Abigail Scott

Audience

The White Adults, Children of Color Conference is a one-day, solutions-based event, designed to address the myriad issues facing White parents of children of color—birth or adopted parentage.  Students, parents, caregivers, academics, and those working in the area of child welfare, are encouraged to attend.  On behalf of Diamond Strategies and The Levitt Group, I invite you to join us and support us through registration, attendance, and/or sponsorship.

Symposium Agenda Convenors

DSC Banner Chair 2Dr. Matthew C. Whitaker is founder and CEO of Diamond Strategies, is a decorated historian, educator, author, entrepreneur, leadership coach, and speaker. He is Editor-in-Chief of MCUVO!CE, founder of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University, and the recipient of the Diversity Leadership Alliance 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Leader Award.

os-ed-black-lives-matter-jeremy-levitt-20150807-1Dr. Jeremy I. Levitt is President & CEO of The Levitt Group, LLC. and Distinguished Professor of International Law at Florida A&M University College of Law, is a highly-sought after professional executive, lawyer, scholar and entrepreneur, and an expert in change management, entrepreneurship, leadership dynamics, business law, retail sales, international law, and conflict resolution.


Learn what you have always wanted to know, in an intimate and positive space, from award-winning historians, sociologists, and social workers, who have the personal and professional experience: Dr. Matthew C. Whitaker, Dr. Jeremy I. Levitt, Dr. Darron T. Smith, Carol Coles Henry, and Alonzo Jones.

“The team at Diamond Strategies are proven and decorated leaders in helping businesses, non-profits, educators, and individuals understand and operationalize diversity, equity, and inclusion.”  – Dr. Jelani Cobb

Diamond Strategies provides diversity, equity, and inclusion training and leadership in community relations to our diverse clientele through a combination of keynote presentations, robust workshops and training, one-on-one coaching, bridge-building community forums, and other activities that engender healthy, positive, and effective cultures of collaborations.  The Levitt Group specializes in cultural competency and diversity training, and includes an international legal advisory practice, and is redefining the golden standard in global consulting, and joint venture partnerships.

Questions? Contact Diamond Strategies



Images: iStock and Dr. Matthew C. Whitaker