This week we shine the spotlight on a Greater Boston organization to promote and amplify their work with youth at the intersection of arts and social justice.
Wee The People (WTP) is a social justice project for kids, parents, and educators.
Co-founded in 2015 by a pair of racial justice educators, artists, and mothers—Francie Latour and Tanya Nixon-Silberg—the organization leads interactive workshops and events that explore activism, equity, and resistance for children from preschool through high school. They report that they’ve covered issues including “race and racism, Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia, gentrification, environmental justice, immigration, gender identity, women’s rights, and marriage equality.” In the past year, they’ve begun offering online versions of their most popular workshops.
It’s not only the age of the participants that make this organization unique; Francie and Tanya teach social justice activism through the performing arts—music, dance and movement, theater, graphic arts, sign making, spoken word, and storytelling. They also base programming on children’s books that reflect values such as empathy, equity, and racial and social justice.
In addition to working with children, WTP also trains parents and caregivers, and they offer professional development workshops to educators. The focus of much of this training is on how to hold difficult conversations with kids about injustice.
Parents and educators have called Wee the People programs “welcoming” for everyone, “thought-provoking” for all ages, “engaging,” “creative,” “informative,” and all at once “serious,” “fun,” and “celebratory.” One parent and program administrator praised “a magic way of taking very complex subjects and making them accessible to children without watering them down.”
To learn more about Wee the People, visit their website at www.weethepeopleboston.org.