Meet The Leaders Helping Parents Talk To Their Kids About Racial Bias

Written by Team Scary Mommy

Katelyn Williams, School Counselor, Parenting Coach and Mental Health Advocate

Katelyn Williams is a licensed and nationally certified School Counselor and a Mental Health Advocate, born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC. She has a passion for breaking down the stigma around mental health and parent education, with a focus on ethnically diverse individuals and individuals of faith. In her role as parent educator, Katelyn works to empower parents to confidently care for and support their children’s development. She is also a Weldon Pro; Weldon is a digital platform that provides parents with personalized and evidence-backed parenting advice from best-in-class child development experts.

Andrew Grant-Thomas, Co-Founder of Embrace Race

Andrew Grant-Thomas is the Co-Founder of Embrace Race, an organization of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities at large. In Grant-Thomas’ own words: "My main commitment is to promoting racial and social justice. I want to support work that engages problems that really matter, where success will make a meaningful difference for real people and communities — not 100 years from now, but in my lifetime and the lifetimes of my two young daughters."

Dr. Jacqueline Douge, Pediatrician and Author

Dr. Jacqueline Douge is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and co-author of The American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on the impact of racism on children. Her 23+ years of experience in the medical field as a physician and public health administrator has bolstered her belief in health equity with an emphasis on access to healthcare, wellness and prevention, and child health. She is a graduate of Rutgers Medical School, and has spoken with authority on issues of race and children during several media appearances including The Today Show and the What Is Black podcast.

Vanessa Newton, Children's Book Author and Illustrator

Vanessa Brantley Newton is an author, illustrator, performer, and diversity activist. She has illustrated over 80 childrens books and has written and illustrated 5 books of her own, including a book of poetry, titled, “Just Like Me.” Vanessa travels the country, visiting schools to read her books and sing inspirational songs. In 2017, she did a TEDx talk on Diversity Designed by Adversity. Vanessa was also the keynote speaker at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) annual conference.

Jelani Memory, Children’s Book Author and Co-Founder of A Kids Book About

Jelani Memory is the Co-Founder and CEO of A Kids Book About and Co-Founder of Circle and Narrative. “I'm a bit obsessed with making things that matter,” says the serial entrepreneur. Speaking about A Kids Book About, he shares that, “There are no dragons, silly bears, or cute tales about princesses. Only the challenging, empowering, and important topics that kids experience every day. Kids' lives are complicated, and our mission is to help kids and their grownups have honest conversations about things that matter.”

Dr. Jennifer Harvey, Author and Professor of religion at Drake University

The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is an award-winning author, educator, and public speaker. Her work focuses on ethics and race, gender, sexuality, activism, spirituality, and politics — with particular attention to how religion shows up in these dimensions of our shared social life. Her greatest passion and longtime work, however, persistently and pointedly return to racial justice and white anti-racism. Jennifer publishes in numerous academic and public outlets. Her essay “Are We Raising Racists?” spent nearly a week on the New York Times “ten most read pieces” list. She has written for CNN, Huffington Post, Sojourners on-line, The Conversation, and countless other publications.