AmeriCorp volunteer, Ashlee Murphy recently shared this reflection with us related to her work in Hillside court:
” On the fourth Thursday of each month, Embrace Richmond has a fellowship day. This gives us the opportunity to invite the community to come together to do something fun with their neighbors. For one of these events, we decided to have a cook-out. My role on fellowship day is to entertain the toddlers and preschoolers that may come with their families.
While we were playing together, a three year old tells me, “I’m white.” Then she touches her arms and legs as if she was noticing for the first time that all her skin was the same color. Then she asked me, “Are you brown?” I told her, “Yes I am.” Then she points to her fingernails which were each painted a different color. Together we named the color of each finger: red, blue, green, yellow. In her mind, the color of someone’s skin had no more significance than the colors of her nail polish. She did not attach any stereotypes to race, we just happened to be different colors.
As an adult, it is harder for me to detach race from certain stigmas, but my young friend reminded me that sometimes one’s skin tone is just like another color in the crayon box.”