Social media has the power to revolutionize the way we see the world and Kourtney Kardashian is using her platform to amplify the various ways we can personally change to help put an end to racism — starting within our own homes. In a heartfelt letter titled “Things I Teach My Children” posted on Instagram and her lifestyle site Poosh, the reality star encouraged mothers like herself to take “responsibility” for educating their children about racism and engaging in honest conversations about it as a family.
“As a mother, there is a natural instinct to protect my children from anything that might make them feel sad or unsafe,” began Kardashian. “The pain and suffering inflicted by racism is not a thing of the past and I bare the responsibility to speak with my kids honestly and often about it, even when the truth is uncomfortable.”
The mother of three also stressed the importance of creating a safe space at home for mothers and children to learn and explore the truth together if we all want to become better human beings. “I encourage other mothers to join me in using this as a learning lesson for our children, to allow our children to feel comfortable enough to come talk to us about anything. Allow conversation without judgement, and learn from our children too. We don’t know it all. My children sometimes ask questions that I may not know the answers to, so we explore them together. I’ve felt like I’ve always been on the right side of this, but I have a lot to learn and want to educate myself even more, so that I can be a better mother, a better auntie to my nieces and nephews, a better friend, and a better person.”
However, lasting change doesn’t occur from one conversation; it’s an ongoing process. Since the first place of learning for children is often the home, mothers have a unique role to play as educators in being an active role model of compassion and agent of progress if racist behaviors are to cease once and for all. In this vein, Kardashian ended the letter with resources mothers can tap into to teach their children unity and love for all of humankind, from bestselling books to a recent Sesame Street special addressing racism.
Recognizing her privilege and then stepping back from the social media spotlight herself, Kardashian will be taking advantage of her 94 million-strong Instagram following to #ShareTheMicNow and magnify the inspiring work and far too often muted voices of successful black women today. Kardashian and dozens of other white celebrities including former Vogue Arabia cover star Ashley Graham and acclaimed designer Diane von Furstenberg will be handing their social media accounts over to black female leaders such as the first American hijabi Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad and Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi today June 10 in efforts to “catalyze the change that will only come when we truly hear each other’s voices”, wrote Kardashian.
Yet, education and awareness are not all we as individuals can do to take action. Not only can we commit to continuing these conversations about racism and inequality far beyond a trending hashtag but also we can support black-owned businesses and donate to organizations that are tirelessly fighting to dismantle the barriers of systemic racism to create a more just society for future generations. As the founder of a major lifestyle brand, Kardashian made such a pledge a few days ago, promising to make a “conscious effort to ensure our team of collaborators and our content and imagery always reflect the diversity of our community.”
“We pledge to continue the conversation when racism and inequity cease to be a trending topic. We pledge to do the work required, not just in this moment but in the future, to keep ourselves educated, to keep the doors open for safe and honest dialogue, even if it’s uncomfortable. And we pledge to share this information with you, our community.”