Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is located in a great state!
As noted in the Minnesota Kids Count 2020 data book, Minnesota children consistently achieve high rankings related to multiple indicators of child wellbeing. In fact, Minnesota was ranked 3rd in the US for child wellbeing!
CMSM is nestled in a great community!
As noted by Greater Mankato Growth, our community has received recognition for ranking #2 as the “Best Place for Young Families” and #5 as the “Best Small City in America”.
While our state and community have much to be proud of and grateful for, these rankings mask some striking disparities.
Also noted in the Minnesota Kids Count 2020 data book, Minnesota is ranked with bottom tier states when it comes to indicators of child wellbeing for children of color. In fact, Minnesota is recognized as a state with some of the most significant racial disparities in our nation. What is true for children of color in our state is no doubt true for children of color in our region.
It is the vision of the CMSM to serve as a catalyst for building a stronger, more vibrant community around PLAY, so that ALL children in our region share in a bright future of opportunity and wellbeing.
Since its inception, CMSM has been passionate in pursuit of this ideal. Given the striking disparities experienced by so many children of color – made even wider as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and deeper as a result of the racial injustice and trauma so many have experienced over the past year – CMSM is doubling down on its commitment to ensure this vision for ALL children – particularly those experiencing the greatest disparities and as a result, the most negative impacts to their health and wellbeing.
To that end, CMSM is embarking upon a journey...
…to more meaningfully discern its role as a catalyst for building a stronger, more vibrant community around PLAY, with a much keener focus on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEAIB). Initial steps on the path of this journey include:
The Museum recognizes that these initial steps represent just the beginning of an ongoing and no doubt transformational journey. It is with great enthusiasm that we begin this journey so that ultimately, ALL children in our region will in fact share in a bright future of opportunity and wellbeing.
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
-Alexander den Heijer, Inspirational Speaker
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS & YOUNG CHILDREN
Did you know?
- By six months of age, children begin to characterize by race. (Katz & Kofkin, 1997)
- By two years of age, children use racial categories to reason about behavior. (Hischfeld, 2008)
- By three to five years of age, children in diverse environments use race to identify themselves and others, and to include or exclude children in their play. (Van Ausdale & Feagin, 2011)
- Children’s racial bias does not significantly mirror their parents but the biases of their society. (Patterson & Biglear, 2006)
- Through books, videos, songs and language, preschool age children receive pervasive messages that whiteness is preferable. (Giroux, 2001)
- Regardless of their own race, children between three and five years of age are more likely to identify a white child as an ideal friend. (Katz & Kofkin, 1997)
From “Children are not Colorblind” by Erin Winkler as referenced in “Moving from Nice to Necessary: Social Justice Work in Children’s Museums”; Association of Children’s Museums Webinar 1.23.2018
The following groups and organizations offer resources for parents interested in exploring concepts, fostering conversation, and sharing age-appropriate information with young children about race.
Sesame Workshop / Sesame Street in Communities
Content to help families talk to children about race and identity including topics such as:
- The ABC’s of Racial Literacy
- Exploring Race
- Power of WE Club
Little Moments Count
A Minnesota-based collection of resources put together by racial justice experts across different fields to support individuals, parents and children learn more about race including children’s books, story time readings and videos.
A locally-based resource to support individuals, parents and children as they move forward on their racial justice journey, including resources for parenting racially-conscious children.