Workshop: Parent and teenager perspectives on the intergenerational transmission of racial trauma
In this workshop the facilitators shared the key messages coming from their research with racialised families and invited the audience to reflect on what implications they have in their profession.
Three key messages:
- We spoke with 28 UK parents and teenagers with African, Carribbean, South Asian and East Asian heritage.
- Participants were exposed to racism from a young age, both directly as victims and indirectly through their parents, with an impact on mental health evident in both generations.
- Many parents sought to raise their children to cope with inevitable racism, and many teenagers wished their parents would try harder to resist the racist system.
Artwork by Ronni from Fully Focused Productions (@projectrnz)
This workshop was connected to our Voices, Power & Attitudes research challenge: How can we amplify young people’s voices and change societal attitudes in ways that positively impact on mental health?
Workshop Live Tweets
You can read a great thread from @suzijsapiets and @NikkiBiyi who were live-tweeting the session.
Welcome to the 'Parent and teenage perspectives on the intergenerational transmission of racial trauma' session at the #EmergingMinds Summit! I’m Suzi Sapiets from @TizardCentre and I’ll be live tweeting this session on the @TRADEproject_UK for the next 50 mins (a thread 🧵). pic.twitter.com/Fs5gXPdmUk— Dr Suzi Sapiets (née Scott) (@suzijsapiets) October 17, 2022
This workshop is based on the @TRADEproject_UK funded by @EmergingMindsUK & backed by @CentreforMH @KingsIoPPN. The researchers spoke with 28 UK parents and teenagers with African, Caribbean, South/East Asian heritage, who had experienced racism that impacted both generations.— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
Questions asked to parents include:— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
– how they went about any conversations about racism with their children
– how their experiences of racism shaped interactions with their children
– how racism affected their children’s well-being
Similar questions were posed to teens also.
“I did not start a family to create child soldiers, but the war is already outside”— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
“Don’t let them shut you up, take up the space you need”
“For years, I’ve tried to belong. I’ve tried to bend myself into acceptable shapes, but still, I just don’t fit”
This workshop/topic is really undoing me, but in a good way processing my own experiences and hearing from parents (‘aunties’) about theirs/their children.— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
Apologies for the lack of "live" tweets – it was an emotionally difficult session and important for me to listen to the experiences and perspectives being shared by those in the room, which were upsetting and also made me angry at the injustice our racist society perpetuates.— Dr Suzi Sapiets (née Scott) (@suzijsapiets) October 17, 2022
@TRADEproject_UK found living in a racist system feels inevitable and people can only fight so much – a relentless struggle with impacts on parents and children’s mental health – with fear, anxiety and hopelessness being experienced across multiple generations.— Dr Suzi Sapiets (née Scott) (@suzijsapiets) October 17, 2022
Not enough existing trauma research has explored racial trauma. People shared suggestions on improving things – training and education for everyone, especially teachers and mental health professionals, breaking stigma and stomping out racism.— Dr Suzi Sapiets (née Scott) (@suzijsapiets) October 17, 2022
Re: teachers telling children to lower their sights when expressing dreams. An audience member says “who are you to tell me what I can or can’t achieve?”— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
Teachers are meant to instil confidence in pupils, not diminish or discourage.
Another interesting point from the audience: sometimes “the talk” doesn’t come from our parents but others’ parents.— Nikki Adebiyi (@NikkiBiyi) October 17, 2022
Seems that the widely held belief that “it takes a village to raise a child” includes protecting and preparing that child.
Within the autism "field" there is indication of racism, as children from ethnic minority groups are far less likely to receive an autism diagnosis – and if they do – they're less likely to access support – even when other factors like socioeconomic status are taken into account.— Dr Suzi Sapiets (née Scott) (@suzijsapiets) October 17, 2022