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New program to help parents talk with kids about race and identity coming to Alexandria

A Black Lives Matter demonstration at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Old Town, June 4, 2020. (Staff photo by James Cullum)

A new grant-funded program is coming to Alexandria this fall to help parents talk to children about issues around race and privilege.

The program, called Conversations About Race & Belonging, is run through a local organization called Open Horizon and is launching in Alexandria this fall.

“This program invites parents of K-12 students in Alexandria’s public and independent schools to learn skills to engage in meaningful conversations that often feel challenging, awkward and uncomfortable, using race, identity, and privilege as a focusing lens,” the release said. “We also are promoting this program to parents who are professional librarians, counselors, coaches, and building staff within those Alexandria systems that serve children, regardless of where their children go to school.”

The release said part of the goal is to engage networks, like neighbors or members of social groups, and the city is encouraging those groups to attend together to support one another.

The program page said a nominal fee of $25 is asked but not required. The next round of applications is scheduled to close on July 31.

“We are registering participants, but are limited to 30 seats, so we invite you to please share this opportunity with any Alexandria parents who might be interested, either for themselves or for other parents in their social, school, neighborhood or faith groups,” the release said. Details about the program, as well as the registration link, can be found online at this Parents Program info sheet.”

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