A Message to Our Community’s Families and Children
“My message is that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children.” – Ruby Bridges, Civil Rights Activist
In 2016, we honored Ms. Bridges with our annual Legacy for Children Award because we believe in the values of equality and justice she promotes, and we work every day to exemplify those values. Now we are hurting alongside communities across this country after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Americans.
Children are astute observers of the world and they know when something is wrong. This is an important time for parents and families to talk with children, to be honest with them and to help them process the scary things they see, not only in the news but in their neighborhoods and cities.
As a children’s museum, we are in the unique position to combat historical and systemic racism by promoting diversity, tolerance, inclusion, and cultural competence that starts with our community’s children. We want to help your family navigate these times in a hopeful and honest way that honors your children’s fears, curiosity, and anxiety. The goal for each of us should be to better understand the racial realities of the world and commit to what role we can all play in healing these wounds.
Little ones (and adults) may feel helpless, but it helps to know there are ways that each of us can make a difference — no matter our age. We can be good friends to people who are going through hard times. We can have conversations about how to treat those different from us, and how we want to be treated. Talking — and listening! — is a powerful tool when faced with intolerance. Together, we can shine a light on the ways we want to learn, grow, and practice equality.
Having conversations about racism, prejudice, and discrimination is difficult, so to help you broach these serious subjects, we’ve put together a list of age-appropriate resources on our website for families. Just as you have supported us for 30 years, we support you.
The museum’s internal, staff-led cultural competence committee created this Welcoming Statement several years ago to exemplify our deeply held values and core beliefs around diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. We strive to live up to these values every day in everything we do.
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose strives to be a community anchor that helps to build awareness and understanding among people of diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic situations, religions, abilities and family configurations. We believe that our community wants the best for its children, and it is our goal to create opportunities for today’s children to become tomorrow’s visionaries.
In our role as a community anchor, we embrace the following ideals:
- Everyone feels welcome, included and well-represented at our Museum.
- We are a positive reflection of our community.
- Culture is more than ethnicity; it is a set of values, beliefs, traditions and experiences. Each person’s cultural heritage is different, and we can all find and embrace the similarities and differences between cultures.
- We value the experiences that our visitors, staff and volunteers bring to the table, and incorporate their insights in our programs, exhibits and operations.
- It is our responsibility to offer unique opportunities for lifelong learning that build global awareness, allowing people to explore and understand their cultural differences and similarities.
- Cultures themselves evolve and grow and we endeavor to do the same.