September 12, 2016 is launch day for both Bishop T.D. Jakes’ new one-hour talk show, “The T.D. Jakes Show,” and Lisa Williams’ 72-hour GoFundMe Campaign for the first book in her series, “#REALTalkRacism: Change Matters.” The first book in the series will be for teachers and children and will be called, “#REALTalkRacism: Children Matter: Reading, Writing, Racism: How to Encourage and Facilitate Tough Conversations Surrounding Race in a Classroom Environment.” The book will help direct teachers’ conversations with children about racism.
Williams recently responded to one of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Facebook posts where he said: “I pray for you as you believe in my God; before this month ends, you must have a testimony. This is a month of receiving. Receive your long awaited miracle.” Williams posted back and requested for Bishop Jakes to write the introduction for the first book in her series.
Bishop Jakes’ new talk show will feature real personal stories and honest conversations. This is similar to Williams’ new book series “#REALTalkRacism: Change Matters,” except the book series will focus exclusively on tackling the issue of racism for different segments of people, starting with children.
On his new talk show, Jakes said: “It’s very, very exciting to have the opportunity to take your experience, and the many gifts that you’ve been given and to use them to help coordinate the show. It’s amazing.” Williams feels the same way with her project.
All books in the “#REALTalkRacism: Children Matter” series will help teachers, parents and children to start conversations about racism in America, and will help them process the prejudice they face and the unsettling news they see and hear around them. 100% of the books’ retail royalties will be donated to a charity that works toward the same goal.
Fittingly, both initiatives launch today, Monday, September 12, 2016, which is also The National Day of Encouragement. This is important for Williams who believes that children need some help and encouragement.
“Kids as young as five picked up on racial attitudes in the world around them,” says Williams, quoting a study conducted by CNN’s “AC 360°” program in 2010.
In 1966, 44 percent of American teens thought that racial discrimination would be a problem for their generation. Nowadays, nearly twice as many — 82 percent — feel the same way. The outlook is more alarming among black teens: 91 percent think that discrimination is here to stay, up from 33 percent in 1966.
Says Williams: “The racial divide is tough to deal with as an adult but children are feeling overwhelmed right now!” In a Newsweek interview with teenagers, here is what Jorge, 13, from Las Vegas said: “Race is a problem in my life. In my school, I hear a lot of racist words.”
Williams will address the issue of how all people can deal with the racial divide, but she is first focusing on helping children deal with racism.
The leading academic on racism in children, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, points out, “By speaking openly about similarities and differences between people, we can raise children whose lives are not constricted by fear. By joining with them to recognize and talk about discrimination, we will help our children become adults who work to end it.”
Williams moved forward with the project after being inspired by the Bishop Jakes’ town hall meeting he hosted after the back-to-back killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the retaliation killings of Dallas police officers. Williams decided to take action and do her part to help the nation begin to heal from racism. According to Jakes, the pain overtaking the nation is indicative of “unresolved issues” that must be addressed in order to move forward. “Something has to happen,” Jakes said, and that begins with a conversation — even if talking about the growing racial divide can be uncomfortable.
Williams hopes to shift the pendulum and change the paradigm. She believes there should be a greater focus on children, and how they are being affected by the racial divide and turmoil.
“Bishop Jakes took such a powerful stance by holding the town hall meeting during his televised service, and it pushed me to move forward with what I wanted to do almost two years ago. Publishing this book series is my opportunity to help start conversations and create resources that will empower all people,” Williams said.
Williams is using crowdfunding to raise funds for the first book in her new series via a 72-hour GoFundMe campaign, launching today. “All we are asking is for each person to make a $5 donation,” Williams says. “When enough people take a part, big things get accomplished.”
The book series “Chicken Soup for the Soul” started with the simple idea that people could help each other by sharing stories about their lives. The “#REALTalkRacism: Change Matters” and “Children Matter” book series follows the same belief. Each book in the series will feature a different group of professionals: doctors, child specialists, mental health professionals, lawyers, race relations experts, community leaders, law enforcement professionals and many others who will share strategies to conquer tough subjects, as well as stories to encourage and shift mindsets.
Williams hasn’t yet heard back from Jakes about writing the foreword on her first book, but she is encouraged and standing in faith that he will agree to write the forward. She hopes that Jakes will help because she can’t fulfill this dream by herself.
In fact, it was Jakes himself who said: “If you can fulfill your dream by yourself, your dream is too small.”
Williams’ is looking for other leaders to partner with by underwriting one of the books in the series, or by purchasing sponsorship packages that will enable free books to be given to schools, children and families.
To contribute to the project, visit www.gofundme.com/RTRChildrenMatter
To get involved, email RealTalkRacism@gmail.com
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Augmented Publishing Group, a division of Authority Book Consulting, LP, is a Los Angeles-based boutique book publishing and media agency that specializes in the creation of single author and collaborative books. These books are designed to help community businesses and associated nonprofits to grow their companies.
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