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Culturally Responsible Psychologist and Her Husband Release Children's Book

An Ordinary Day by Dr. Anjali Ferguson and Justin Ferguson

Story Helps Broach Discussions Across All Races and Cultural Backgrounds

When we became parents ourselves, we were often struck by the lack of representation of our own experiences."”
— Dr. Anjali Ferguson

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, August 23, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- "An Ordinary Day" was co-authored by a local married couple to help spark early childhood discussions about racism, microaggressions, internal bias, equity, and privilege. Released on July 28, the two parents wrote it to help subtly and tactfully demonstrate childhood experiences with systemic disadvantage. They used clinical expertise and lived experience to guide the book and follow-up conversations.

Dr. Anjali Ferguson is a culturally-responsive licensed psychologist and global resource on treating racial trauma and its mental health effects on children and families. Her commitment to social equity is experienced through Parenting Culture – a research-informed, online inclusive space for open conversations around parenting and her landmark contributions to Blindian (Black + Indian) literature. Justin Ferguson is a commercial real estate broker and sommelier who often finds himself in environments traditionally with little representation of Black males. He aims to build representation by bridging gaps and creating diverse dialogues, helping other parents recognize that parenting can look different from one family to the next.

"When we became parents ourselves, we were often struck by the lack of representation of our own experiences. We wished for resources to teach children about differences, help them embrace differences, and build empathy," said Dr. Ferguson.

Though their picture book is intended for preschool and elementary aged children, it is valuable for adolescents and adults. "An Ordinary Day" follows two boys through the typical home, school, and after-school activities. It highlights how, even in mundane experiences, Black children operate in a world that consciously and subconsciously promotes messaging about bias and disadvantage.

"Our book is meant to highlight the often-overlooked experiences minorities face. Parents must recognize that nuances have lifelong effects on children. They can multiply and cause major mental health issues as children grow up with systemic feelings of doubt," said Justin Ferguson.

Research demonstrates that children notice race-based differences as early as six months and develop racial biases between two and four. Children are often ready to discuss these difficult topics before adults. Questions in the back of the book help caregivers and parents continue the conversation with their kids and others, and plans are underway for Dr. Ferguson to host an online book club.

Ferguson encourages parents and caregivers to continue conversations by being mindful of how initial reactions towards other people can change. "Chat early about how you feel after seeing and hearing different interactions with people that look different than yourselves," he said.

Dr. Ferguson says that socializing with people who are different from us often does not happen organically because of where we live. "Limiting our social networks to those like us limits our understanding. Caregivers can ensure they engage in racial socialization practices for themselves and their children by intentionally making plans to embrace communities and learn about cultures while celebrating their heritage and pride," she said.

The independently published paperback (ISBN-13 979-8842793761) is available for $14.99 on Amazon. To learn how providers, organizations, and communities can benefit from Dr. Ferguson's racial socialization and equity training, visit draferguson.com or join the conversation at her online resource, Parenting Culture, parentingculture.org.

Julie Khanna
Khanna Connections
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