The book Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-Racist, Justice-Minded Kids in an Unjust World is a guide for parents to help them improve their parenting skills, connect with their children, and to help parents raise children who will live by their values when they are out in the world when their parents are not present.
This book was published after the death of George Floyd amidst the social reckoning around the world about what inclusion, accepting diversity, and implementing equity really looked like in a just world. This is why I believe the book landed with the title it had. Not to draw out the point, I did rate this book 3.75 out of 5. My avid book review readers are probably wondering why.
First, I would recommend this book to parents who are at any stage of the social justice parenting spectrum. Dr. Baxley asserts in her book that parenting is an act of activism because you are shaping people who could become difference-makers in this world. If you are engaged in some of the actions in the book, as my family is, you might find the book more as a confirmation of what you are already doing. That is how many the rating went from 5/5 to 4/5 … so what about the .25 points?
Honestly, I didn’t like the title, so that is where the .25 deduction came from. As an education writer for years, I know the headlines (titles) matter. Sometimes the title is to get you to read the composition, even if the title does not really capture the complete essence of the book.
DEI work is not a checklist. It is a lifestyle, a way of life. J, for justice, is sometimes added to DEI, making it DEIJ. When you think about parenting with justice in mind, there is no checklist to follow, but it is a way of life. I saw this book as simply a parenting book with best practices for good parenting that embedded equity and justice principles. I wish the title would have embraced that more than the buzzwords of anti-racist and justice.
I did have the opportunity to talk to Dr. Baxley and facilitate a social justice parenting webinar for my children’s school district with Dr. Ryan Flessner, a professor at Butler University whose children attend the same school district as my children. There was a lot of positive feedback to the webinar that can be viewed below. I’m probably biased because I’m in the webinar, but I give the webinar 5/5.
Last but not least, I listened to the audiobook in addition to reading the book. Dr. Baxley read her book on the audiobook. Please consider watching the webinar below, listening to the audiobook, reading the book, or all of the above.