Feature image: Rachel introducing Hues of You to the Craftingood Community and Customers
When Lucretia let me know that her new activity book, Hues of You would be published and would be produced in time for Craftingood’s Self-Kindness Subscription Box to go out in March, I was ecstatic! It felt very kismet. Years before, before the days of masks and social distancing, Lucretia and I sat in the window of Old Town Public House for a coffee to get to know each other better and to see how we could collaborate through our organizations, Craftingood and Brownicity. She explained that she was working on a coloring book that would incorporate topics of race, skin tone and the celebration of differences into exercises, using creativity to expand the minds and hearts of the young and old alike. At Craftingood, we use books, creativity and energetics as the means of learning and transforming as well so this was ringing all my bells! What Lucretia and Adia birthed was way beyond my already high expectations!
Hues of You offers a guide for the exploration of ourselves, our families and our ancestors in a way that brings light and love to those parts of us. It is a framework that starts with the foundation of seeking understanding and compassion for ourselves, building on tradition to illuminate how we can best celebrate differences & foster more equity in our communities. It is way more than an activity book.
This self-compassion foundational approach was not instinctual for me as a mom of three in a world that glorifies self-sacrifice as the only way to be a good mom. At Craftingood, I had developed products to spread kindness in the family and community- but none to nurture compassion in the self. Until a series of ah-ha moments occurred. Firstly, working as a contract speech-language pathologist in a hospital at the onset of the pandemic served to stop me in my tracks. I started to put my priorities on my own self-care and kindness and that gave me the awareness and mindfulness that it all starts within.
I saw in real time the impacts that my own growth and self care made on my kids. I could now actually teach them the values that mattered to our family- by embodying them. To teach my kids compassion, I have to be compassionate. To teach forgiveness, I have to be forgiving.
And secondly, another ah-ha moment came through Lucretia’s leadership and mentorship in equity and inclusion training. A foundation of self-understanding and compassion is the same method for breaking down the barriers of racism in ourselves and communities. To spread messages and impacts of anti-racism effectively, I had to embody anti-racism. To teach my kids and community to respect culture, I had to know and respect my own. To teach my kids and community equity, I need to be equitable.
How could I expect to change the world in me and around me if I didn’t fully understand it- or at least seek to?
This is exactly what Hues of You helps us do. We get to learn about what molded us and what our heritage and legacy means in the world today. We get to channel our creativity and curiosity towards understanding and appreciation. We get to break down the blocks that can make us adults feel uncomfortable and indulge in avoidance. Usher in a deeper, broader way of experiencing the wonderful diversity in our communities.
I am so grateful for Lucretia and the Brownicity team for their loving, impactful & inclusive approach. And, for bringing practical, fun tools into the world. My family and the Craftingood community and beyond are stronger and better for it. Thanks to this work, we understand that to change the world from the inside out, we must love the skin we are in.
Craftingood is www.craftingood.com and on Instagram and Facebook @wearecraftingood Please use code: BROWNICITY for 20% off anything in the store. Email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Educators and caregivers, learn to use this gorgeous activity book to build understanding and appreciation around phenotype, culture, ethnicity and race. ENROLL