What Do I Say to My Kids About This Election?

Resources for a Post-Election Time of Confusion and Anxiety – for all ages
compiled by Deborah Weiner, Interim Director of Lifespan Religious Education

This is a confusing and difficult time for religious liberals, for people of faith, for parents – and for children and youth. Your Follen ministry team encourages you to talk about the election, its results, and what it might mean for the United States with your children, youth, friends and family. Learn more, undertake some of these exercises and programs together, and focus your energy and your attention on the power that we – through education, conversation and action – can build the country we dream about. Hope lives on in your hands.

For Young Children (K to grade 2):

“If You Want Justice and You Know it, Clap Your Hands!” http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session11/132571.shtml

Story: “Valentines for the Governor” by Joanna Solins – http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session11/132585.shtml with questions for conversation: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session11/132573.shtml

As a family, talk with your children about getting involved in an action campaign to bring change in your community. You could also talk with your neighbors and friends about forming a group to take up such a campaign. Suggestions for implementation and discussion: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session11/132574.shtml

As a family, make a “faithful footprints” chart. Talk about how you are going to work on doing things that will help to bring your faith to action – in your own lives, in your community. Post the chart in a place where you all can see it, and make some small footprints that can be written on. Talk about why this kind of action is important. Every time you take a step toward justice or equity, write it on a footprint and post it on the chart. One step at a time, the steps accumulate – that is how change occurs in our lives! Think about these things:
Did anyone do something that helped make things fair? (justice, equity, and compassion)

~ Did anyone help someone else? (inherent worth and dignity, interdependent web)

~ Did anyone take care of nature or another animal? (interdependent web)

~ Did anyone listen to someone else who had a very different opinion? (search for truth and meaning, acceptance of one another)

~ Did anyone play with someone new whom you did not know very well? (acceptance of one another, encouragement to spiritual growth)

(adapted from the UUA curriculum “Faithful Journeys”)

For Children, grades 3 to 5:

“Leader of the Birds,” from Tapestry of Faith by the UUA: http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/2016_fall_families_all4_copy.pdf . Also see the parent reflection, “Democracy is Messy,” in the same issue.

As a family, talk with your children about getting involved in an action campaign to bring change in your community. You could also talk with your neighbors and friends about forming a group to take up such a campaign. Suggestions for implementation and discussion: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session11/132574.shtml

The story of Ruby Bridges, child who became a symbol for civil rights, democracy and justice, by Janeen Grohsmeyer: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/lovesurrounds/session11/170233.shtml

The story of John L. Cashin, witness for justice, by Jessica York: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/signs/session15/288119.shtml

For middle and high school youth:

Create a photo documentary board of the social change work each person has committed to individually and/or as a group. Post the board somewhere where all in the group (*or family) can see; take time, as images are posted, for all to comment on what the work is that they have done, and the meaning it has held for them.

“The Collective Good,” a discussion on ethics and choice, from “What We Choose,” Ethics for Unitarian Universalists by Amber Beland and Manish Mishra-Marzetti: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults/ethics/workshop3/191777.shtml

From “Heeding the Call: Qualities of a Justicemaker” by Jodi Tharan and Nicole Bowmer: “It’s Up to Us,” from “The Real Heroes and Sheroes of New Orleans” by Lorrie Beth Slonsky and Larry Bradshaw” – http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call/workshop12/its-up-to-us plus discussion questions about leadership: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call/workshop12/173147.shtml

For Families, Together:

~ Take Action
Combat racism with Showing Up For Racial Justice
Help your community with AmeriCorps
End police violence at Campaign Zero
Support your Muslim family and friends at the Council on American-Islamic
Be a part of your next local election as a poll worker and encourage voters to come
Join an organization that helps immigrants and new Americans.

~ Practice Self Care
It’s easy to forget that taking care of yourself is just as important as going out and doing something. If you find yourself in need of someone to talk to or having suicidal thoughts, reach out to the following:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline(877) -565-8860
Trevor Project: (866)-488-7386

~ Donate
Planned Parenthood: Give women the opportunities for proper healthcare, education, and activism.
The Future ProjectHelp the young people of America fulfill their potential.
RAINN: Assist the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in combatting sexual violence, aiding victims, and ensuring that perpetrators are caught.
ACLU: Uphold the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
Friends of the Earth: Contribute to international network of environmental groups. They’ve already vowed to fight the threat Trump poses to the environment.
NextGen Climate Action: Volunteer with this group that works to flight climate change through political action.

For Adults:

The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement – Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove – http://www.beacon.org/The-Third-Reconstruction-P1139.aspx

Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich – Mary Frances Berry – http://www.beacon.org/Five-Dollars-and-a-Pork-Chop-Sandwich-P1204.aspx

The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America’s Founders – Forrest Church – http://www.beacon.org/The-Separation-of-Church-and-State-P890.aspx

Taking Back the Vote: Getting America’s Youth Involved in our Democracy – Jane Eisner – http://www.beacon.org/Taking-Back-The-Vote-P339.aspx

Can We Talk About Race? – Beverly Daniel Tatum – http://www.beacon.org/Can-We-Talk-about-Race-P1060.aspx

Interfaith Leadership – Eboo Patel – http://www.beacon.org/Interfaith-Leadership-P1222.aspx

Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth From the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement – Freeman A. Hrabowski III – http://www.beacon.org/Holding-Fast-to-Dreams-P1210.aspx

Urgent Times: Policing and Rights in Inner City Communities – Joshua Cohen, Joel Rogers editors, Tracey L. Meares, author – http://www.beacon.org/Urgent-Times-P117.aspx

A Dream Deferred: America’s Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal – Philip Slater – http://www.beacon.org/A-Dream-Deferred-P327.aspx

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America – Eboo Patel – http://www.beacon.org/Sacred-Ground-P930.aspx

The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology – Forrest Church – http://www.uuabookstore.org/The-Cathedral-of-the-World-P17116.aspx