Parents: We MUST Teach Our Kids To VOTE

Election Day

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US, and that means many people will be taking time out of their day to go and vote, if they haven’t already. Depending on where you live, that may mean going to a polling place to stand in line, use some machine or other, and cast a ballot; it might mean driving a mail-in ballot to some official collection spot; or else perhaps checking an app for the status of the absentee or mail-in ballot you sent back days or weeks before.

No matter how it looks or who you vote for though, the important thing is to do it, though sadly lots of people don’t, and while understand the frustration some feel in the process, the fact that it can be obtuse at times, or the persistent fears that our votes may not count or be counted for one reason or another, we maintain that it is incredibly important to go out and vote… and especially if you’re a parent, to involve your kids.

Why?

For Our Kids’ Future

The first and most important reason to vote as a parent is for the sake of your children, and specifically their future. Bear with us – we understand this sounds very crunchy – but the reality is that whether or not you feel that the elections will have a direct impact on your life, it is certain that the choices made each election will have an impact on theirs. Without digging into the specific politics and policies, it’s a safe bet that each election season, there are some mix of candidates and ballot measures that will impact you children’s schools, parks, play spaces, and beyond for years to come.

Perhaps school funding is on the table, as in many places here in Colorado. Maybe there’s a candidate who is dedicated to making more green spaces for kids to play, or expanding access to school lunches, or improving teachers’ pay. All of these things impact our children tremendously, and us as well.

Modeling Skills

Another big reason to involve your children in your voting process is to model skills. Even if you largely vote a straight ticket (all for one party or another), there’s a process that you follow to make your decisions, and to cast your ballot. So, this comes in two parts: first, modeling your decision-making process (which could include research, conversations, or even family traditions), and second, modeling the process you use to actually cast your ballot, once your decisions are made.

Modeling research skills is of course important because our children are doing just that every day in school. Demonstrating that research happens at home, too – that it’s applicable in everyday life – lets our kids know that it’s a transferable skill, something that, if developed, they can take with them as part of their learning toolkit for the rest of their life.

Modeling the process is equally important: voting, though not perfect and not quite universal, is an integral part of the function of groups, communities, and nations across the planet. Moreover, by demonstrating the process to our children (who we already know are sponges for everything we say and do as parents), we normalize the practice, and so make it less intimidating for our kids, when the chance arises for them.

It’s (Probably) Not Taught In School

Many parents, even younger ones, still remember some version of Social Studies or Government classes from our time growing up, and those classes almost invariably encompassed some broad concepts of the functions and processes of government, or “civics”. Essentially, for better or worse, voting used to be taught in school, but that is largely no longer the case. Much as with “Sex Ed”, art, and music, civics is (ahem, strangely) considered to be too controversial a topic for schools to be able to “properly” handle it, and so it has been pushed further and further to the wayside.

Whether you feel this is a problem or not, the result is the same: your children will almost certainly not learn about the process unless you teach them. If you care that your children become voters as adults, the best way to ensure it is to model it.

Voting Matters

Although you may have thoughts about our politics here at Collage, we care more that you vote than for whom or what you cast your ballot, because at the end of the day, voting makes a difference. For better or worse, in large ways or small, our system of government allows us to have a say in the direction that we move as a society. It is a tremendous and unprecedented amount of power in the grand arc of history, and something for which so many of our ancestors fought and sacrificed dearly.

As such, our votes and our actions around the process are the greatest legacy we leave our children, collectively. Let us leave one we can be proud of.

Further Resources

There are lots of wonderful resources available to help inform your voting process. We would love to cover more, and we may in the future, but for today we would like to recommend Ballotpedia, a fantastic site that gives clear and comprehensive breakdowns of virtually every ballot in the country, in a nonpartisan format.

Women of POWER

Today, we honor the incredible strength, fierce dedication, tremendous innovation, and exceptional brilliance of Women of Color.

Women of Color are the foundation of our society; to paraphrase Melissa Harris-Perry in her book Sister Citizen, Black women are the group by which our country can gauge our progress toward true social equity. They are the roots that hold our society aloft, nurture its foliage, and still anchor it to reality. As long as Women of Color are attacked, maligned, and diminished, we are poisoning our roots and will not grow. As long as our girls of color see matriarchs trodden under the feet of patriarchy and misogyny, none of us can move forward.

So today, honor the Women of Color in your life; know that they are Goddesses, Leaders, Queens, Innovators, and so much more.

Be Well, Fam.

New Stuff in the Collage Shop!

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

October has been a busy month here at Collage Colorado, LLC, and our media team has been in the thick of it, assembling some of our best designs to date. Whether you’re looking to make a statement on your walls … Continue reading

#TOOFIERCE to be Erased

Despite what any administration may say, we at Collage Colorado know that Trans folks are #toofierce to be erased. We stand by the Trans community, and we hope that you do as well.

Resources for Trans Folks and Allies

GLAAD

The Trevor Project (and their help line at 866.488.7386)

Trans Lifeline (and their help line at 877.565.8860)

Flipping the Script: Why “A Wrinkle in Time” is So Imporant

“Ultimately, DuVernay has done more than make worlds (and she invented many for the movie), she has also fundamentally changed our own, just by making her film.”

The Beginning…

There is really no doubt about it – Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is a fantastic story; in equal parts it blends magic and science, fantasy and fear, and a persistent theme beneath it all of the many sorts and expressions of love. It’s a story that has appealed to literally millions of readers over the past five decades since its original publication, and continues to be enjoyed by millions more. Despite its controversial (and frequently-challenged) nature, the book clearly stands on its own as worthy literature, but recently, there’s been a shift…

Seeds of Change

Given the book’s controversy and incredible success, it was clear from early on that it was rife with possibilities. Numerous adaptations of the story have been made over time, including a 2003 Disney TV movie that was, well… pretty boring, but still kept up interest in the by-then classic.

Virtually all of these adaptations were as one might expect – plain, more or less true to the source imaginings of the story. All fine and dandy, but at some point the same old thing no longer advances the conversation, and that can make a story go stale (one of the worst things that can happen to a work of literature). Though nothing can take away the beauty of the words, it seems likely that A Wrinkle in Time was on its way to being irrelevant.

A Risk, and a Paradigm Shift

By even her own account, there was a lot of risk in Ava DuVernay taking on the role of director for the newest adaptation of L’Engle’s work. From the outset she needed to take on (from many sides) the misogynist doubt that a woman could direct a successful science fiction movie. Others considered it a strange departure from her previous work. No matter what she did, DuVernay was constantly taking risks in making this movie.

Rather than shying from that, however, she took in on, head-on. In one interview with her, DuVernay describes the moment she decided to make the film, when she was offered the chance to “build worlds”. What she did in fact was bigger though; DuVernay began a genuine paradigm shift.

More than Building Worlds

Ultimately, DuVernay did more than make worlds (and she invented many for the movie), she also fundamentally changed our own, just by making her film.

Normally, making a movie out of a book is risky business of its own. Even in our current era of remakes and reboots, there are many that are outraged at the adaptation of page to screen, arguing that it ruins, demeans, or debases the material. We at Collage are maybe not so militant, but we do generally agree that it’s always best to go to the source, at least first off.

In making A Wrinkle in Time into the modern film it is, however, DuVernay worked real magic, and on a global scale. Almost overnight, she transmuted a character forever into something more than she already was: she gave her real dimension. By making the main characters of the story biracial, Ava DuVernay added further depth to a character who was already deeply emotionally complex… but in a way that was utterly organic. In doing so, she imagined the family so artfully that, for millions or even billions of readers for at least the next several decades, that is who Murry family will be.

It is an epic accomplishment, and one that we feel is worth celebrating here at Collage Colorado.

What do you think about the book, or the movie? Let us know in the comments!


Own the Book or Film!

We absolutely love both the book and most recent film versions of A Wrinkle in Time, and we highly encourage you to read and watch them as well! Follow the links below to see both on Amazon.

#WhenIBegan Art Prints Are Here!

They’re here! The first run of (large) #WhenIBegan art prints arrived today, and may we say, they look gorgeous! Check them out in the Facebook Shop; more pictures coming soon!

And of course, watch the video that inspired it!

We’re Going Purple for Spirit Day!

Thursday, October 18th is Spirit Day this year, GLAAD’s day of solidarity against LGBTQ+ bullying, and to show our support we’re making our logo purple across the interwebs for the week, and we’d love to see you do the same! Join us in standing up for LGBTQ youth, and make your social media profiles purple, too.

Also, keep an eye out for a special Spirit Day article later this week!