Family Friendly Direct Action

Z_Denver_ActionWhat it is: Parents, caregivers, their loved ones, and community take and hold space together in a call for racial justice in family friendly ways. There’s a range of possible direct actions ranging from Black Lives Matter marches in safe spaces like playgrounds or schoolyards.

Photo credit: Chris Crass

There are a variety of actions:

  • Have a child/caregiver led March. Keep the route short, the pace slow, and let kids help plan visuals, chants, and messaging. Check out this example from the Colorful Mama's of the 99%.

  • Call for a stroller brigade at a larger march. Many of us know how good strollers are at jamming up streets and walkways! Contact event organizers to coordinate a space and time when no direct actions are planned. You may just tell families where to meet, tell people to bring blankets, food to share, and craft materials.

  • Host a play-test. Bring bubbles, face painting, hula hoops, chalk, and other play tools. Find a visible public space and fill it with sidewalk chalk like #sayhername, Black Lives Matter, Break White Silence, and more. Engage passerbyers that want to join in the play to take action for racial justice.

  • Some experienced organizers have done family led and centered direct actions. If you have a community interested in this kind of action, you can contact for support.

Say Goodbye to Hate Playtest

We had a three day conference come to town that featured speakers like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. There were a lot of difference actions, and we wanted to make sure families and folks with safety concerns had a space to be involved in action.

The day the summit left, we lined the building that hosted. It was in the middle of our downtown area, so it had a lot of traffic. We had snacks, water bottles, hula hoops, and other fun activities. The best was covering the walkway with sidewalk chalk. Folks drew beautiful messaging, and we invited people passing by to join in. Before we knew it, we had covered a huge portion of the walkway with notes like, “No Hate in Our State”, “Build Community, Not Walls,” and “I Love My Muslim Neighbor.”

This would be a really fantastic action at a school or other community space!

This page is a part of the "Four Family Centered Actions You Can Take For Black Lives Matter (and Four Others You Shouldn’t)" toolkit. Join the Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Families Facebook page for ongoing resources and an anti-racist community.