Episode 78: The ABC’s of Diversity w/ Carolyn Helsel & Joy Harris-Smith

June 8, 2020

Show Description

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the authors of the upcoming book, The ABC’s of Diversity: Helping Kids (And Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences. Joining me to share some of the ABC’s are Carolyn Helsel and Joy Harris-Smith. 

As I was reading their book, I was struck by how compassionately Carolyn and Joy set the table to speak for these hard conversations. Their goal is to walk parents and kids through the learning process of living fully in the diversity of who we are as families and as a society. I am excited to share their work and message with you today. 

Show Highlights:

  • Conversations about identity, gender, race, or religion are not easy. 
  • Carolyn and Joy’s work is an attempt to put forth a balanced view about how we move forward in a world that is increasingly globalized and becoming more globalized every day.
  • Some of the challenges parents and children face when embracing diversity.
  • Conversations don’t move toward action. They are the catalysts. But at some point, you have to move beyond the dinner-table conversation. 
  • How to practice moving from dialogue to informed action.
  • Carolyn and Joy share some of the ABC’s of Diversity from their book, including the unhelpful reactions we typically have talking about or being around people who are different. 
  • How to address white fragility – aka exerting control over the situation as a way of dealing with your anxiety, acknowledging those automatic ABCs, and moving into a more intentional response.
  • “We don’t want people to feel bad about being fragile. We want them to move through and past the fragility.”
  • Helping children educate themselves about social media sources and encouraging them to embrace diversity within social spaces. 
  • We explore the question, “Is it possible to have nuanced conversations that lead to real change?”


Links (affiliates included):

The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences –

Anti Racism resources for white people –

 Parenting Forward Conference Sessions –

 Join us at the Parenting Forward Patreon Team –

Parenting Forward, the book –