Celebrating Women’s History Doesn’t Have to Look Exclusively White


By Chemay Morales-James

Growing up, I never felt completely connected with identifying as a feminist.  It wasn’t because I was oblivious to the continued misogyny and social inequities me and my girls continued to experience on a daily, but when women’s rights were brought up in high school and college, they almost never included the voices of women of color nor was there any acknowledgement of the racist, patriarchal division that was ironically upheld by White women during the suffrage and other movements.  In fact, the recent Women’s March on Washington received much criticism from Black & Brown activists in how it initially left out women of color and was protected by law enforcement during the mass protests, which is a stark contrast to the militarized police that often make themselves present during protests lead by Black and Brown communities.

Continue reading “Celebrating Women’s History Doesn’t Have to Look Exclusively White”

Racial Identity-Affirming Resources: April 2016


What’s New This Month?

Thanks for tuning into our second newsletter this year!  March was a month of growth for My Reflection Matters (MRM). We now have over 1,100 followers and lead our first successful contest where we gave away a $50 gift bundle to one of our fans, Taisha Lee Rivera-Franklin.   The contest prize included a children’s book that speaks to social justice, conscious t-shirt by BAMN, Bino and Fino DVD on African culture, and the latest Indy Kids social justice newspaper written for kids by kids (See picture below.).  Keep reading to learn more details about each product and where you can purchase them.


MRM Facebook followers that posted a comment stating what they liked about MRM were automatically entered into our drawing. In addition to Dr. Noguera’s testimonial pictured upon opening this newsletter, here are some other comments followers posted on our page:


MRM will continue running monthly contests, so stay connected with us on Facebook to learn when we post them and what free gift we will be offering. Our primary purpose for running contests is to:

  • Learn more about what types of racial identity-affirming resources you like or struggle to find.
  • Provide lucky winners an opportunity to try new products and share their feedback.
  • Keep you coming back, of course!

Finally, we now offer you the option to sign up to receive email updates regarding our monthly newsletter, upcoming contests, and any other information we think you may find useful. Adding your name to our email list guarantees you will never miss a newsletter or contest announcement, so be sure to sign-up here!

This month’s newsletter is organized into the following headings:

  • Literature (young and mature readers)
  • Animation
  • Curricula Materials
  • Inspiring Schools
  • Toys/Games
  • Apparel
  • Upcoming Events
  • Take Social Action
  • Articles You Loved

Happy Reading,

Chemay                                                                                                                 Founder of My Reflection Matters  


Young Readers


!IndyKids: A free paper for free kids! is a newspaper whose purpose is “to engage young people to become informed world citizens through the production of a current events and social justice news source that is created by kids, for kids.”



Ta-Nehisi Coates has a new comic book, Black Panther, that just came out! We love him and his unforgettable book, Between the World and Me!



This month, while at the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), I met Tim Sheard founder of Hard Ball Press, a publishing company dedicated to helping working class people write and publish their stories. Of course, I couldn’t help buying these two gems from Tim.  My two and four year-old love Manny and the Mango Tree, not to mention it has helped us explore big concepts such as undocumented status, protesting, social justice, and activism.  



It’s Ramadan, Curious George offers an opportunity for teachers and parents to initiate a conversation about the customs and traditions associated with Ramadan as well as dispel wrongly held beliefs about the Islamic faith.



Some of my sons’ favorites are on this booklist of 12 Black Heros to read with your children.  Click here to learn more about each story listed above and where to purchase them.


Mature Readers


Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome lays the foundation of understanding how chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed has influenced the present.



Just Mercy is one of my personal faves this year.  Warning: get the tissues ready as Bryan Stevenson shares, in detail, his experiences working with Black and Brown youth and adults in what my colleague refers to as the criminal processing system (a.k.a. criminal justice system) in his search to prove their innocence in wrongfully accused crimes or lesson harsh treatments.



Many of the identity struggles Rachel, the bi-racial main character in The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, faced were ones I could relate with growing up in a community that saw you as either Black or White. I think your teen will enjoy this ‪#‎MRMbookfave‬!




Here’s a new animation to keep an eye out soon–Bilal. “The movie tells the story of a real superhero, an African slave who was brought to Arabia 1,000 years ago and fought for his freedom.”



Grab your little one(s) and take a peek at Orisha’s Journey, an animation based on African folklore.



Tell Me Who I Am is an animated series in which children learn history and science by actually becoming the historical role models they learn about.



For many of us who took a second language in school, Spanish classes never touched on the many indigenous languages that existed in Spanish speaking countries and how these languages have been forgotten by many after the Spanish conquest. Take a peek at these clips you can use in your home or classroom instruction.



Bino and Fino is a great educational cartoon if you are looking for an animation that is centered around Blackness and offers kids fun facts about different African countries.

Curricula Materials


Looking for a website that generates creative, engaging lessons that are relevant to youth today? NuSkool is an entertainment learning platform that finds teachable moments in popular culture. You’ve got to check them out!



If you haven’t discovered Lee & Low Books, you are missing out! They are the biggest multicultural children’s book publisher in the U.S. offering a diverse selection of books you may not always be able to find in you ordinary book store.  This is a great resource for homeschoolers or teachers searching for literature students can relate with to integrate into their lessons. 


Given the recent trip Obama has taken to Cuba, here is a resource from the Zinn Education Project for you to use with youth to explore the history of U.S. relations with Cuba.


Inspiring Schools

Sometimes we need a little inspiration to give us ideas and get us moving. Get inspired, here , with these two amazing schools!


Roses in Concrete Community School will inspire educators on what is possible when it comes to teaching urban students and provide parents with hope that places do and can exist where their Black and Brown babies are at the center of learning.


Little Sun People is a community childcare center whose mission is to educate children in their most formative years about the history and culture of all people of color with a particular emphasis on people of African ancestry.




I Never Forget A Face is an award winning, memory/matching game for young kids that includes children from all over the world. What I like about this is that Black and Brown faces are not “add-ons” or placed in the background of this game like in most toys.



If you are exhausted searching for dolls that reflect the beauty of your brown-skinned child, search no more! Read here about 7 companies that sell Black dolls and where you can get them.



My Family Builders is a great toy for young children! The box includes cards with pictures of different families–same sex, inter-racial, and single parent families–that serves as a tool to help adults engage in conversations about the beauty in different families.




My kids and I cannot get enough of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) conscious t-shirts! We gave one away to our lucky March contest winner and plan to give more out again in the near future, so stay connected with us to learn more.

Upcoming Events

If you are near the NYC or Boston area…or somewhere in between, check out these upcoming events you may be interested in attending.


The NYU Metro Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools will be hosting their annual Summer Institute for educators titled, Unleashing the Power of Culturally Responsive Education in the 21st Century:Empowering students, families and educators on May 20, 2016.  Don’t miss an opportunity to see the inspiring Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings and Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade speak!



Border Crossers offers insightful, ongoing trainings for educators and parents on how to have conversations about race with youth of all ages.  Sign up for their upcoming May workshop titled,  Talking About Race in the Classroom: A Training for K-12 Educators Committed to Racial Justice.



In case you missed Christopher Emdin this past March in NYC, he will be giving a book talk about his just-published For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Educationon Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, MA. Click here to learn more.


Take Social Action

Searching for an important cause you and you children can take social action on today?  See if any of the following campaigns speak to you or your kids/students.


Take action today and support ‪#‎stepupscholastic‬ a campaign pushing Scholastic to publish more books that mirror and affirm the identities of children that are often left out of the dominant narrative in children’s literature. Click here to learn more about getting involved.



What’s Your Issue is a national youth survey made with LGBTQ & GNC youth to lift up their experiences, priorities & dreams. Their goal is to represent youth who are usually left out. Help them by taking their survey & sharing it with your friends! Learn more here about hosting a survey party at your home or organization.


Articles You Loved

Catch up on some of our top Facebook articles shared in March for tips on education to advice on talking race with young kids!

What Exactly is a Good School? California is Trying to Find Out.

New Research Shows Connection Between Race And Early Childhood School Suspensions

Please Don’t Touch My Black Child’s Hair To Satisfy Your Curiosity

How (and why) I Introduced Gender Identity to My 3-Year-Old Son

Book Club Helps Immigrant Mothers Find Joy in Reading and Support Their Kids’ Education

How to Talk to Kids About the New Normal

Black and Homeschooled

Disclaimer: MRM does not get paid by any companies mentioned in this newsletter. This is purely lead by the personal research and interests of MRM.  If you have a resource or product you sell or are trying to market that supports the development of healthy racial identities of Black and Brown youth K-12, please email us at MyReflectionMatters@gmail.com and tell us about it. We’d be happy to test, read, and share your resource if it meets our criteria for meeting the needs of our target audience.

Fun and Educational Toys for Young Children: My Family Builders

My Family Builders is a fun, educational toy for young children, and was our most liked product this month! The box includes cards with pictures of different families–same sex, inter-racial, and single parent families–that serves as a tool to help adults engage in conversations about the beauty in different families. This is definitely a fav. of my two and four-year-old!

More Information.