How to Teach Kids About Diversity | Color Me Culturally Confident
How to teach kids about diversity
This intro paragraph is really difficult for me to write. Partially because it’s always hard to know where to begin, but mostly because I’m afraid to misstep, say something offensive, show my white privilege. But that is why this post is so important. This year has been a wake up call for me as a mom. I recognize that there is work to do and the buck stops with me. It’s my responsibility to teach my kids about diversity.
Which just leaves one question… how?
If this post is hard to write, how am I even supposed to know where to start when talking to my three-year-old.
Then I found Kasey at Color Me Culturally Confident. To be honest, I was skeptical. my first message must have given Kasey butterflies, as a business owner, I know it would’ve made me feel the pressure.
My question came down to this: “How can I, as a mother, be confident that I’m not getting a biased version of other cultures through a white priviledge lens if I use your products?”
I didn’t hold back.
And Kasey handled it like a champ! She patiently explained her process to me, telling me that she always works closely with people native to the culture as she creates and before publishing her products. I especially love that she draws from personal experiences and family traditions! You’re not going to get a more real view of other cultures than that!
After our conversation, I knew I wanted to feature Kasey’s products and passion to empower others to teach kids about diversity. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Kasey of Color Me Culturally Confident.
an interview with Kasey of Color Me Culturally Confident
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: Hey there! My name is Kasey Boyack and I have been married to my high school sweetheart for five years now. We have two little boys and our “pup”.
Q: A few questions to help us get to know you. What is your guilty pleasure?
A: Potatoes. Any kind of potato. French fry, scalloped, mashed, I love them all. McDonald’s actually just came out with a new commercial about when your partner says they don’t want fries, “get them the fries. Or your fries will become their fries.” And I felt personally attacked.
Q: What is your favorite book, movie, and/or TV show?
A: Oh. Where to even start. I became so attached to the characters in Alias that when a certain major romance was disrupted, I couldn’t go on watching it. It’s still a sort of touchy subject years later in our house that we like to laugh about.
My favorite books of this past year have been “Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick, “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai, and “The Lemon Tree” by Sandy Tolan.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I grew up camping and playing sports. I love to read. I recently got a bike and love to take my boys on rides in their little trailer! It’s been a fun new hobby. and we hope we can one day get into mountain biking as a family.
Q: How would you define motherhood in your own words?
A: To be a mom is to see yourself in the form of a mimicking three-nager. It’s maddening, laughable, humiliating, humbling, and just exhausting. But eventually, it’s a powerful motivation to improve, because you want your little reflection to be better than you are.
Q: What is the best advice on motherhood you’ve ever received?
A: The best advice I’ve ever received came from a meme that claimed every conflict with kids could be solved with water. A drink of water, a bubble bath, a squirt gun, a dip in the pool, or even doing the dishes.
It sounds silly, but I use it at least ten times a day. When everyone starts crying or fighting, I just have to step out and come back with sippy cups, and then I give a few options for play, usually including a second water-related option like “who wants to clean mom’s dishes?!”
Q: Tell us a little bit about your business. What’s it called, how old is it, and who’s on your team
My business is Color Me Culturally Confident, it’s one year old and it’s just me!
Q: What is your mission statement or message and who do you serve?
A: Color Me Culturally Confident provides parents and educators tools and challenges to help them color, read, play, build, create, speak, and explore their way around the world together with their children. And, most importantly, I want every child to be instilled with the knowledge that the world is a better place because they are in it!
I serve families and classrooms with children anywhere from 2-8 years old.
Q: How did your mompreneur journey begin?
A: A little while into my motherhood journey I realized I was no longer investing time into developing any of my hobbies or talents.
One day, I was listening to this amazing podcast where the speaker asked stay-at-home moms, “What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish?” And she explained that almost all of them would respond with things like, “I want to have a clean home, happy family, and some really good friends.” I realized that those were my goals.
They were the kind of goals that are really just a determination to make it cheerfully from day to day. Nearly impossible to reach some days, but also not pushing me to grow.
I started to wonder what was I actually interested in and capable of? And what skill could I use to benefit my family? And I zeroed in on my passion: I LOVE languages and people.
I speak Russian, pretend to dabble in Spanish and ASL, and once upon a time was assigned to teach Turkish and Lithuanian classes! Even though I didn’t know either of the last two languages, I adored being able to work with my classes and attempt to learn each one as fluently as possible in our time together!
But my love goes deeper than language. I whole-heartedly, and inevitably, learn to love the culture of the people I get to know, and it brings me so much joy!
It was such a little thing, listening to a podcast; and then suddenly I was a mom with a mission. Oh, how I wish I had paused to take note of what I was even listening to so I could go back and thank that podcaster!
I immediately started talking to anyone who would listen to my ideas. And as I spoke to my friends from other countries and cultures, I realized that I could do this! I could create something that would help expose children to different people, languages, and traditions from around the world and help prepare them to be better world citizens.
Q: What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?
A: My first business idea was to do a Passport. I thought that I would blog ideas of activities, and families could download a passport and the special “visa” sticker would be found at the end of each post. I was so excited! But… after creating the passport realized a ton of people did that already and my idea would not look original. So I put it on the back burner and kind of started over.
Q: Why do you get excited about your business/product?
A: I’m excited about the resources Color Me Culturally Confident offers to help open eyes to all the different kinds of people, traditions, beliefs, etc. that are out there. I want something that doesn’t just teach children about how the world works, but who shaped it to work that way. And I want each child to know that they have the power to shape it further. They can make the world a better place by embracing who they are. That is the message I want every child who gets a product from me to see. That is the message that I hope will get others excited to share.
Q: What is unique about your business?
A: The thing that makes Color Me Culturally Confident unique is the way information about each country and culture is primarily collected. Individuals from countries around the world are invited to fill out a survey describing holidays, jobs, traditions, literature, food, etc. that they grew up with, which becomes the inspiration for the expeditions I create.
For instance, in the activity “Roustam visits St Basil’s Cathedral,” Roustam is my real-life friend. He lives in Russia and has actually visited that breathtaking Cathedral and told me about it.
For the things that aren’t described to me by real friends and acquaintances, fun videos and links can be found in blog posts about each product.
Q: What is the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome in your business?
A: I think that when I started, I thought I had a strong support group in my family and friends and that word of mouth would just take off. But it never did. When I would reach out to a friend and ask them what they thought about something I’d created, or if they knew someone that would be into it, I’d often just get silence. Or they’d say yes, but never follow through.
And why should they? It’s not their job, there wasn’t a real incentive in it for them. It took me forever and was a really emotional experience to finally let go of thinking that people who knew me personally would be the people growing my business. As soon as I started looking for like-minded people in my niche I began to feel like my ideas and products had real potential and I started to see sales.
Q: What are your top 3 entrepreneurial tips?
A: 1. The people you know may not get very enthusiastic about your product until you prove to them that people with no connection to you love what you do. Start your business by focusing on new connections and relationships.
2. If you are hesitant to reach out to some business owners on social media because they have 100,000 followers and you have 200, just do it. I did it and was blown away by the response.
I sent a simple request explaining why our values aligned in just a few sentences (keep it brief!), and this man came back and just said, “I love this. What do you need me to do?” I seriously almost burst into tears. He didn’t take the reins just because he was more experienced or successful. He made me feel in charge, and then he immediately followed through on my request.
3. If you have the opportunity to be the man in #2, be that man.
Q: In what ways do you think being a working mom affects you/your kids/your family?
A: Being a working mom means I have a ton more to juggle physically, mentally, and emotionally every day. But it also means that my days are more intentional. My kids have a great routine because I need a one to keep everything rolling, and we spend lots of time swimming, doing yoga, or going to parks between cooking, cleaning, and studying/creating. It gives me confidence that they’ll be confident, independent adults, because they see my husband and I work together to get it all done.
Q: What’s your productivity secret?
A: The secret to all sanity and productivity in motherhood is observing the sacredness of nap time. I’m blessed to have incredible sleepers, but on the not-so-incredible-sleeper days, they still have to go in their rooms quietly for some period of time with nothing but a few books or toys.
Q: What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired or where do you go for inspiration?
A: I start to draw something related to the topic I want to be inspired about. There have been so many times that I have started drawing, and end up wondering what it would be like to meet the character or place I’m drawing which allows the ideas to flow. And when that doesn’t work, there’s always Pinterest.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
A: I would spend less time wondering whether I and my ideas were worth investing so much time and money into (mostly time in my situation), and just enjoy pursuing something that intrigues me.
Q: What are your favorite quotes or words you live by?
A: My family, and all my extended family, live by words from an old country song my great grandfather sang to us all the time. “Do what you do, do well,” meaning that you should give your love and all of your heart to whatever endeavors you pursue.
Q: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out? Or advice for moms who dream about being entrepreneurs, but just can’t get started?
A: You can have thousands of followers, and not sell a single thing. Instead of worrying about numbers, worry about finding the right people.
where to find Kasey and her diversity teaching aids
We used Kasey’s printable board game The Great Animal Race to learn about the Zodiac Calendar and what years we were both born in. It was so much fun and a great way to learn about just one aspect of another culture at home.
If you’re ready to take and active role in educating your kids about diversity, you can find Kasey and her products on her Color Me Culturally Confident website or follow along on Instagram at @colormeculturallycofident.
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