Social Justice for Kids and Families

How can we practice justice, liberation, and peace with one another?  Activists use different methods to create change, and no matter how young or old you are, you can play an important role!

There Are Different Kinds of Activism

Direct Action

This kind of activism goes right to the source and demands change: protests, strikes, and sit-ins. An example of direct action happening right now in the Bay Area is the protests to Save the Shellmound, opens a new window, which is on Ohlone land (like all of Oakland).   

How can kids participate in direct action? You can:

  • Go to family-friendly protests
  • Join a picket line (if workers are on strike, they might carry signs outside their workplace to tell people not to support the business) and support worker-friendly businesses
  • Make posters for protests and hand them out to people or carry them yourself

Mutual Aid

This kind of activism strengthens a community by making sure everyone is taken care of. Oakland’s legendary Black Panther Party for Self Defense provided dozens of mutual aid programs, including free meals, childcare, transportation, and even medical and dental services. Organizations like the People’s Kitchen Collective, opens a new windowPeople’s Programs, opens a new window, and the Bay Area Childcare Collective, opens a new window continue this legacy today.

How can kids participate in mutual aid? You can:

  • Deliver groceries and/or household supplies to a neighbor/family member
  • Offer babysitting or tutoring to your family/kids in your neighborhood
  • Help someone with their computer or their phone
  • Help translate information into another language (being multilingual can be like a superpower!

Art & Music & Writing

All kinds of activism can be creative, but this one is about what you can make using your voice, your words, or your paints/crayons/markers! Last summer, people came together to protest police brutality and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others. Beautiful murals, opens a new window went up across downtown Oakland, filling walls with color, passion, and powerful messages. 

 Artists who live in the Bay Area and use their art as part of their activism include: Micah Bazant, opens a new windowFavianna Rodriguez, opens a new windowChristian Robinson, opens a new windowInnosanto Nagara, opens a new window, and Maya Gonzalez, opens a new window; almost all of them make books for kids, too!