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APRIL 2022

 

 

 

 

 

April is Black Women's History Month!

February celebrated Black history, struggle, achievement, and aspiration. March celebrated the accomplishments and vision of women. In a way, April’s focus on Black Women’s history synthesizes the two preceding months by asking: what is the story of Black Women’s History, and how should we imagine that history as an aspect of Public Kinship?

 

There are many ways to answer that question. We can learn about the accomplishments of individuals and ]organizations. We can notice the unfinished work of equality and recognition both in America and globally. But above all, we can find ways to honor those Black Women in the US and internationally who have advocated – and continue to fight – for connection, for leadership, and for full participation in the civic, cultural, political, and other spheres of public life.

 

Who do you want to honor – and why?

 

What to Do for Yourself

 

There are plenty of ways to learn about exemplary and inspiring figures, beginning with the host site of Black Women’s History Month. Maybe you already have some in mind. But on your own Public Kinship journey toward your own goals for yourself, who could be your North Star? Do you want to create TV shows? There’s Shonda Rhimes. Run a Fortune 500 company? There’s Thasunda Brown Duckett. Mentor famous writers? There’s Jessie Fauset.

 

What to Do with Others


Once you’ve done the “self-scan” of how Black Women’s history can play a role in your own journey toward Public Kinship, how about a group discussion? For a resource and model, you might host a screening of portions of this online conversation with Dr. Daina Ramey Berry and Dr. Kali Nicole Gross about their recent book, A Black Women's History of The United States.

 

 

 

 

 

April is Global Volunteer Month!

The organization Points of Light spearheads this month-long celebration of civics-in-action with all kinds of resources to get involved in worthy collaborative projects near you. Volunteering to work with people you care about on things you care about is a fundamental way of putting the spirit of Public Kinship into practice. You come to know yourself better, connect with others, and contribute to a culture of service and growth. Check out Points of Light’s resources to learn more, and see what your municipality has in the way of volunteer agencies near you!

What to Do for Yourself

 

  • Volunteering begins with asking the same questions you’ll ask yourself on your Public Kinship journey: what do I care about? What do I like to do? Why is it important to me? Why do I want to share it with others? What impact do I want to make?

  • Could the Public Kinship Reflection Journal help you with this process? Download it at our Public Kinship webpage!

What to Do with Others

 

  • Make it happen! April 17-23 is National Volunteer Week! Make April a month of service to others, and for yourself!

 
 
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April 1 – International Children's Book Day

Few activities are more important for Public Kinship than sharing knowledge and beauty with someone you care for. And few activities accomplish that better than reading to a child. This is true the world over, and never have there been so many books and resources to kick off and sustain a child’s love of reading. 

 

What to Do for Yourself

 

  • Read a book out loud with a child you care about – your own, a neighbor’s, a friend’s. Tell them what International Children’s Book Day is all about…and ask them what they think of that!

 

  • If you really want to put the "international” in International Children’s Book Day, try these recommended books

 

What to Do with Others

 

  • Organize a party to celebrate the importance of reading with children.

 

 

April 4 – Birthday of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou remains one of America’s most heralded writers. As a Black writer, as a woman, and as a national figure, she showed how art can confront significant problems while remaining both accessible and timeless. From her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, to her poem for President Bill Clinton's 1992 inauguration, "On the Pulse of Morning," and beyond, she spoke in a uniquely American voice -- combining hope, pain, and the discovery of the self in all its complexity. Today we honor her vision of Public Kinship.

 

What to Do for Yourself

 

Maya Angelou wrote in many genres: autobiography, poetry, fiction, essay. Explore some of her most enduring work:

 

 

What to Do with Others

 

  • Read some Maya Angelou out loud with friends! She’d like that.

 
 

April 7 – World Health Day

The 2022 theme of this global day of action is “Our Planet, Our Health.” The World Health Organization (WHO), the sponsor, puts it forcefully: World Health Day 2022 “will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.” 

 

This is a vast project! Where to begin bringing your own Public Kinship toolkit and vision to bear on pollution, climate change, health disparities…on a planetary scale?

 

What to Do for Yourself

 

As always, you can begin by asking: “What do I care about? What is my vision of a healthy self, family, community, world? What opportunities are available close at hand?” Then . . .

 

 

What to Do with Others

 

  • WHO’s Campaign Toolkit contains resources that you can use to share the simple message behind “Our Planet, Our Health” with those you know and care about, so they can likewise spread the word. Do you belong to a neighborhood or tenant association, parents’ group, or other social network where messaging for the good of the community is part of your work? Incorporate some of the everyday work of Health Day ‘22 into what you all do.

 

  • And . . . National Volunteer Week and Earth Day are just around the corner. Make April a world health month by joining a common culture of advocacy for health for all!

April 17 - 23  National Volunteer Week

 

National Volunteer Week promotes volunteer service and shines a light on individuals and groups making a difference. Service can help build strong communities, and often has ripple effects beyond what can be seen immediately.  

 

Public Kinship encourages the power of reflecting on the people, communities, and causes you care about, and then engaging in the world. Participation is how Public Kinship moves from I to Us.

What to Do for Yourself

  • Show gratitude and grace toward yourself. Even small acts matter. No need to tackle a huge commitment.

  • You can deepen your involvement with a group or project you already are committed to. Share expertise you know you have. Let your talent shine!

  • Or…try something new in a situation where you will be encouraged and acknowledged. You never know: you might have an undiscovered talent to share!

Points of Light has a great search engine for matching community needs with your aspirations to serve!

What to Do with Others

Promote Public Kinship through individual or collective action.  You have the power!

 

  • Lift up someone. Thank and acknowledge them for their participation in building Public Kinship.

  • Invite someone to join you in an activity. Or offer to support them in assisting an individual or group they know. Identify a service project they care about and join in!

  • Recruit others. Many hands make light work and help build community spirit.

  • Join a local organization to learn about opportunities to serve.

 

With or without recognition, you can touch the lives of many through volunteer acts of kindness and inspiration.

 
 

April 22  Earth Day

Caring for Mother Earth’s health is caring for your own current and future health, and that of those who follow us.

What to Do for Yourself

 

  • Reflect on nature or clean air and water.  What do you like about nature?  What pollution do you see or smell? Write freehand. Or structure a poem. Write your own creation first, or read silently or out loud “April Rain Song” or “An Earth Song”, poems by Langston Hughes. This would celebrate both the Earth and National Poetry Month.  Don’t worry about how “good” your poem is. The act of writing by itself can focus your attention.

 

 

What to Do with Others

 

  • Go for a walk with someone. Take a small bag or two and disposable gloves or garden gloves. Pick up recyclable plastic in one bag. Or pick up litter in the second bag. Or both!  Have a friendly competition on sighting and gathering. Connect with your walk-partner and the neighbors you encounter. 

 

  • Is your school doing something for Earth Day? Read up and share some knowledge with classmates and the teacher, at the right time. Facts and figures can be good to share, but a personal story could be more memorable and impactful. “Climate literacy” is a thing! Talk about something you witnessed or thought about. 

 

  • Do you have access to safe water most of the time? Is there lead in your pipes? Find out what your local government is doing to correct unclean water or rusting pipes. Does taking a stand on such issues make sense for you, your family, and community?  This analysis is part of Civic Engagement, a tenet of Public Kinship.

 

  • Does your school or community have a garden? If not, how could you start one? If you already have access to a garden, how would you like to be involved? Your participation will be an example of enacting the Public Kinship goal of acting for the common good.

  • Take a Hike! Do you have relatives who could host you for a day or more? Notice the different ways Mother Nature communicates in different places.

 

  • Last but not least, don’t forget about Youth Earth Week, April 17-23, which emphasizes engaging young people in making the world a better place.

April 28 - Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

 

The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation started this Day of Action to “ show [children] the value of their education, help them discover the power and possibilities of work and family life, provide boys and girls a chance to share how they envision the future, and allow them to begin steps toward their goals in a hands-on and interactive environment….”

 

The 2022 theme is “New Possibilities Create New Horizons.” Could there be a more Public Kinship-friendly focus? What can you do with this Day for yourself, your family, and others?

What to Do for Yourself

As always with Public Kinship, begin with yourself: What do you think the value of a child’s education and possibilities are? How does what you – or another caring adult – do for a living embody the values of this Day? What do you want to do to contribute to the spirit of the Day?
 

What to Do with Others

 

  • Visit the Foundation’s Resources page for more info on how to engage with this Day as an employer, employee, and/or parent.

 

  • Find out if your employer participates in this Day, and/or offers other opportunities for young people to “shadow” a parent or family member at work. If so, make it happen! If not, and if you feel comfortable doing so, raise the possibility of starting such a program.

 

April 29 - Birthday of Duke Ellington

 

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1972) was a composer, big-band leader, jazz titan, cultural ambassador both at home and abroad, civil rights advocate, and one of the central creative figures of the global 20th century. Perhaps more than any other American artist, Duke Ellington fully dedicated himself to the proposition that art, particularly American jazz, formed a universal language of freedom and human possibility. From Harlem to Helsinki, from Baghdad to Beverly Hills, the Duke and his mighty orchestras literally performed Public Kinship in every key. Honor him today with some of our recommendations below!

What to Do for Yourself

 

Here is a tiny sampling of songs we think represent a cross-section of Duke Ellington’s incredibly diverse career and range of contributions to American music over 6 decades.

 

 

 

 

What to Do with Others

 

Listening party with the Duke and other musicians whom you and your friends feel embody Public Kinship in their art!

April 29 - Arbor Day

Arbor Day 2022 is the 150th anniversary of this tree-planting holiday, and the work this holiday celebrates has never been more important. Few community resources – at any scale – have the ongoing benefits provided by trees: their shade cools sidewalks; their leaves enrich the air; their nutrients revitalize the soil; on and on. Make Arbor Day Earth Day Part 2 with some activities that will get you outdoors and planting with others! #ArborDay

 

What to Do for Yourself

 

Learn about Arbor Day and the importance of tree-planting to strong communities. Ask yourself what trees could have to do with Public Kinship: are they part of your moral mind? What community functions do they serve? How would you like to contribute?

 

What to Do with Others


Find a celebration in your state and get involved! You can also get the kids excited about trees with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Kids’ Activities page!

 
 
 
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