Standing in Solidarity for Michael Brown & his family.

08/20/2014

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FOCS families stand in solidarity to Michael Brown’s family and the people of Ferguson, Missouri. pc: FOCS
Our stories and collective experience as families of color and FOCS, as an organization are being heard and appreciated as truths to help raise understanding and compassion.  Thank you ParentMap magazine online.  Read HERE.  

Moms find community in FOCS V Newborn Group

08/14/2014

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Ten ethnicities representing!
by:  Kathlyn Paananen, mom to 4mo girl.Enriching. Restorative. Fun. Supportive. Important. Community. 
These are the words that mommies used to describe their summer together being part of the fifth Families of Color in Seattle newborn group. First and second-time mothers found a community where they could nurse with no judgment, share laughs or tears, watch their newborn babies wiggle with delight, and learn new ways of caring for their precious little ones.

The group first met at the Seattle Children’s Playgarden and learned of the wonders their babies will discover here. Through the sessions mommies learned how to talk with their babies through sign language, practice yoga while engaging their children, help their babies sleep better, and heal their little ones through naturopathic methods. Mommies and babies also found comfort in finding a supportive community of color. Parents dove  into deep conversations of how race and ethnicity will play into their babies’  lives and ways to have meaningful conversations with their children as they come of age. One thing for sure is that these nine babies are so lucky to have wonderful parents who care about their well-being and will create a culture of love in their homes.

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first gathering at Children’s Playgarden.
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mama yoga with mama Yogi Teresa.
 When asked what advice they have for the incoming FOCS VI group, mommies shared the following:

  • Make the most of this time by attending as many sessions as possible.
  • Don’t worry about being the hostest with the mostest! Just bring you and your baby and enjoy these sessions together.
  • Get phone numbers and call or text in between sessions and afterwards.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Relax and enjoy your newborn.
  • Learn from others how to pass on your culture or create new family traditions now and as your babies grow older.
  • Speak openly and from the heart. This is a wonderful forum to make connections and have meaningful dialogue.
  • Learn how to foster and enrich your child’s development while exploring topics that are germane to families of color.

Although the ten weeks are up for the FOCS V families, these newborn babies continue to grow and show their personalities. Jasper Jade is ready to chat it up with anyone who will listen. You can find Nora always willing to share a smile. Rafiq is giggling up a storm. Yasmin and Corliss are sittin’ pretty. Ahsoka, Elan, and Nikko are rockin’ and a rollin’!

*Please note in some cases pseudonyms were used for mothers and children who wished to remain anonymous.

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ono grinds at Marination Makai.
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American Africans & Black moms & father discussing anti-bias preschools.
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FOCS heart FOOD!
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pool play with southend waddlers.