As a community-focused company, Kabrita USA strives to be inclusive and to continuously celebrate diversity. In honor of Black History Month, Kabrita USA is featuring a BIPOC Parenting Series, for the entire month of February. The BIPOC Parenting Series centres BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) parents’ experiences. Our goal is to enhance greater representation of BIPOC parents in the media, as well as to amplify BIPOC voices and stories.
Today, we are sharing Fousia’s story about the importance of her children growing up in a diverse community.
My family immigrated from Somalia to Canada in the late 80s when I was kindergartener. I grew up in a diverse community with Asians, Africans, African Canadians, Persians, and White Canadians. Looking back at the neighborhoods I grew up in, we all looked different but there were still instances of Islamophobia and racism.
After getting married, I realized how important it was for my kids, who are biracial (Somali and Pakistani), to grow up in a diverse community. This forced some tough decisions like choosing a more diverse school district even though some of the top districts academically were not very diverse. We also knew we could supplement their school activities with other ways of enriching them academically.
We did this because wanted our son to walk in the neighborhood without feeling fear, not get profiled at school because of his skin color and we wanted my daughter's hijab to be seen as normal among her peers.
Being BIPOC presents unique challenges for parents. In addition to focusing on education, we also have to look for ways to protect our kids while giving them plenty of opportunities to thrive in today's society. Our family is comprised of 3 languages, three cultures, and at times I wonder how my kids will take on the role of being a third culture adult. Will they feel out of place in some communities? Will they be able to handle the discrimination they face with courage and strength of character?
I hope and pray that our example as parents, community members, and citizens of this world gives them all the right tools to be healthy and thriving. When I look at generation Z and Alpha, I remain hopeful that they will change things for the better in ways that my generation still hasn't achieved.
Kabrita USA BIPOC Parenting Series shares genuine stories written by parents from the BIPOC community. Each story offers a different perspective from their personal parenting experience. To read more stories, please visit our Nourish Blog.