Dear friends of Thinkery:
Our community—and our nation as a whole—is in the midst of a difficult, painful, and long overdue reckoning with the horrific issue of systemic racism and its long-term impact on our Black community and communities of color. Thinkery continues to stand with those demanding justice and advocating for real, positive change.
As an educational organization steeped in providing opportunity and inspiration for all children, Thinkery has a moral imperative to be part of the solution. Black lives matter. Black and brown children matter. We commit to helping overcome the systems of bias that provide privilege for so many while leaving others behind.
Throughout the summer, our Inclusion Work Group and staff have highlighted helpful resources to support parents talking to their children about race and inequality. I have reposted a number of them below.
Thinkery is creating a new Diversity Equity Inclusion Accessibility (DEIA) committee within its Board of Directors, which will examine opportunities for Thinkery to promote racial equality and social justice at the institutional level. This new committee will provide actionable guidance on how we can promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility at every level of our organization.
These actions must only serve as the beginning, though. We commit to take actions that examine our own needs for growth around being an anti-racist, socially just organization and find new and impactful ways for Thinkery to support our Black community and children of color. Some things we plan to act on over the next year include:
- Working with local diversity, equity and inclusion experts to assess our areas for growth while we map out a DEI plan that deeply embodies our values.
- Continue to support our co-created Community Night Spotlights that highlight and celebrate the diverse communities that make Austin such a rich and vibrant place to live and learn.
- Support our staff and organization in examining their role in the systems of oppression that perpetuate racism.
- Continuing to foster strong partnerships with organizations who serve the Black community such as Austin Area Urban League, Six Square, Austin Justice Coalition, and George Washington Carver Museum, where we focus on listening and learning and through the leadership of these community organizations to co-create programming and initiatives where Thinkery can share our STEAM play-based expertise to better serve the communities they serve.
- Partnering with a local artist on an interactive art project for families that centers social justice.
Thinkery remains dedicated to educating children and caregivers and inspiring the next generation of creative problem solvers. We intend to lead by example as we work every day to be ethical, equitable, and strive for justice for all communities throughout Central Texas.
We hope you will join us in promoting—and living—the values of equity, kindness, compassion, and respect.
Chief Executive Officer, Thinkery
It’s never too early to talk about race. We know the conversation can be uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make it any less essential. Our educators and staff have identified a number of resources that we hope will help you.
- Beyond the Golden Rule – A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice from Teaching Tolerance
- They’re Not Too Young To Talk About Race – Infographic courtesy of the Children’s Community School
- Embrace Race – A collection of resources including webinars, articles, reading lists and action guides for parents
- Talking About Race – Resources for parents and caregivers from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture