A CONVERSATION WITH: AMANDA CARTER GOMES

On raising the next generation of activists.

Us: Please introduce yourself to our audience.

Amanda: My name is Amanda Carter Gomes. I am the Founder and Executive Editor of The Fold: . I am also a freelance producer, content director and creative consultant. However, for the past 18 months, my primary focus has shifted to mothering and guiding the young people in my house, my children ages 6 and 11, along with my partner, Matt. We live in Seattle.

Us: 2020 was a novel year of parenting. From navigating a global pandemic and schools closing to new opportunities for activism and engagement (i.e. the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2020 election, and more). How have you approached the ever shifting balance of educating your children so that they will be informed, engaged members of society, and protecting their innocence, especially at a young age.

Amanda: We talk a lot about what is happening in the world in my home. I do my best to be honest with my children about the things I find frightening, infuriating and unjust. My 11 year old is innately curious and empathetic, and he is also always listening, so we have really had to think about the way we talk about current events. Kids tend to think in sweeping generalities, so we talk a lot about the nuances of individuals or situations.

Us: What does the practice of intentionally raising the next generation of activists look like in your home?

Amanda: We do our best to not just talk the talk, but to also walk the walk. Whether that is by attending protests, fundraising for different causes we support and/or getting involved at the community level to help make changes we want to see in our own backyard. I don’t think activism has to only be at the global or national level, there are huge benefits (and ripple effects) by advocating for the community you want to live in daily.

Us: As a feminist who uses her platform to amplify female voices and dismantle patriarchy, how do you approach raising white boys to dismantle toxic masculinity on the Homefront?

Amanda: I am by no means an expert, but instilling empathy and embracing my children’s distinct personalities and personal sensitivities is a focus in our home. There is no emotional shaming or gendered expectations or assumptions. We consume books, movies and media with all sorts of narratives and lead characters. We do our best to celebrate individuality. We talk about privilege, sex and gender openly. We mess up, a lot. But we just keep trying and keep the communication going. I want them to know that when the most oppressed among us is supported and thriving, the entire community thrives.

Us: What resources have you looked to to guide you in raising little activists and how have other perspectives helped inform your parenting?

Amanda: There are so many great resources out there – we happen to turn to books and movies a lot. We have utilized our local indie bookstores and libraries for their recommendations on everything from “Black Joy in Picture Books” to “Talking with Kids About Race” . I just purchased The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families to read with the boys. We just watched the viral video by The Linda Lindas , which was amazing and provided an opportunity for my oldest to witness the experiences of kids his own age.

Amanda: I love The Conscious Kid, and found Nice White Parents to be a necessary listen for adults, especially when addressing the public education system this past year. The Bold World and Born Ready , both by Jodie Patterson, are fantastic. There are many more, but those are the ones that come to mind and that are being circulated in our space at the moment.

With regards to perspectives, I follow a lot of Black women and WOC via social media. In these spaces, I follow and listen. I think this is one of the best lessons white women, especially white women who tend to lead or jump into action, need to hear. This is a lifelong learning process. Yes, we need to take action as well, but when in a space where something has not been your personal lived experience, listen. Allow yourself to get uncomfortable and be open to the things you need to change.

Us: What resources have you looked to to guide you in raising little activists and how have other perspectives helped inform your parenting?

Amanda: There are so many great resources out there – we happen to turn to books and movies a lot. We have utilized our local indie bookstores and libraries for their recommendations on everything from “Black Joy in Picture Books” to “Talking with Kids About Race” . I just purchased The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families to read with the boys. We just watched the viral video by The Linda Lindas , which was amazing and provided an opportunity for my oldest to witness the experiences of kids his own age. I love The Conscious Kid, and found Nice White Parents to be a necessary listen for adults, especially when addressing the public education system this past year. The Bold World and Born Ready , both by Jodie Patterson, are fantastic. There are many more, but those are the ones that come to mind and that are being circulated in our space at the moment.

With regards to perspectives, I follow a lot of Black women and WOC via social media. In these spaces, I follow and listen. I think this is one of the best lessons white women, especially white women who tend to lead or jump into action, need to hear. This is a lifelong learning process. Yes, we need to take action as well, but when in a space where something has not been your personal lived experience, listen. Allow yourself to get uncomfortable and be open to the things you need to change.

Us: Your time is often filled with meeting the needs of others, from parenthood to The Fold. How do you practice self-care?

Amanda: The things that feel most nourishing to me right now are long walks with friends, going on a run, and/or a long bath. I prefer the latter with Daughter of The Land CBD bath soak. Oh, and binge watching any shows that provide me with some levity after a long and heavy year.