Quotes on Race and Privilege

White privilege is a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people’s conscious knowledge of its presence and it helps to maintain the racial hierarchy in this country. (source)race race


Here are a few quotes that help explain privilege and race:

“To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.”
This invisibility is political.”
Michael S. Kimmel, Privilege: A Reader

“Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

“The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americanas to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”
Tim Wise

“Since the notion that we should all forsake attachment to race and/or cultural identity and be “just humans” within the framework of white supremacy has usually meant that subordinate groups must surrender their identities, beliefs, values, and assimilate by adopting the values and beliefs of privileged-class whites, rather than promoting racial harmony this thinking has created a fierce cultural protectionism.”
bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism



Community Coffee

I received free samples of Community Coffee for review purposes, but all opinions here are my own.

Iced coffee is a summer must!

Community Coffee Company recently launched its first-ever “Iced K-Cup” in Mocha Vanilla. You’re going to want to try it…especially when you see this video recipe for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Iced Coffee.

I just tried the Iced K-Cup for the first time recently. It was so delicious and really easy to make. First you brew a Community Coffee Iced K-Cup in your Keurig. Community Coffee

Then add milk or cream and whatever sweetener you like. Community Coffee

Finally, just pour that over a large cup of ice. Community Coffee

“Whether you’re an iced coffee lover, K-Cup® enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys trying new blends, we think our Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee will become your go-to beverage when the weather gets hot,” said Scott Eckert, Vice President of Marketing, Community Coffee Company.

Available in 12-count, single-serve K-Cup® pods, Community® Mocha Vanilla Iced coffee just hit shelves this past May, giving consumers an easy and convenient way to make iced coffee throughout the summer months. The new flavor does not contain cream or sugar so coffee lovers can customize their drink based on personal preference.

To learn more and to purchase online, visit CommunityCoffee.com.

They make tea too!

For non-coffee drinkers, Community® tea is a crisp and captivating blend of orange pekoe and pekoe cut black teas from around the world – it’s always clear, bright, and never bitter.


About Community Coffee Company
Now in its 97th year, Community Coffee Company houses the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America, and four generations of the Saurage family have operated the company since its inception. Founded in 1919, Community Coffee Company is an importer, roaster and distributor of the highest-quality premium coffees and teas, using only 100% Arabica coffee beans. For additional information, visit CommunityCoffee.com or find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Am I Polarizing?

Yesterday, a sweet friend messaged me privately to tell me that my posts (political posts on Facebook specifically) were polarizing and that it is “making it hard to listen to anything else you are saying.”

I responded that I would take the comments under consideration because I definitely don’t want to water down my message of anti-racism. (Side note: I’m not using the term “racial unity” anymore. Unity, unfortunately, still can hide underlying racism.)

But after sleeping on these comments overnight, I am calling BULLSHIT. (Sorry for the strong language, but I can’t think of a better term at the time.) I will not be silent. When I see injustice and racism, I will speak up. When I see people justifying a candidate who proves over and over again that he is a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist narcissist, I am going to call you out.

This is what the Republican Party has come to:

US Rep. Steve King preaches literal white supremacy on national television

Scott Baio ducks question about tweet calling Clinton a ‘c*nt’: ‘It’s just a picture’

RNC forced to close online convention chat after anti-Semites turn it into a Jew-bashing hatefest

Here Are 10 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist

Politifact has fact-checked Trump 180+ times. 75% of those statements turned out to be Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire. So tell me again who is a liar? (Hillary Clinton gets 51% True or Mostly True on Politifact. FYI.)

I admit that Hilary Clinton has a likeability issue. I really think it’s because she’s a smart, determined woman — and people hate that. But she’s experienced, level-headed, and is for the betterment of the United States. Trump is only for the betterment of Trump.

So if you don’t like what I post, hide me, unfriend me, whatever. I don’t care. Honestly. This isn’t 8th grade. This is LIFE and DEATH. My husband and children are black. They have been threatened. They get followed at the store. They don’t get invited to parties that white kids get invited to. Things are assumed about them just because of the color of their skin. They wonder if they will make it home alive each day. Let that sink in a minute.

I’m done worrying if I offend YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE. Too bad. Until you walk a day in my shoes, the shoes of my husband or children, just hush with the whining.

And THINK. Really think for yourself. Not what you heard on Fox News or conservative radio. Not what your Southern Baptist preacher says either. (I know — I went there.) PRAY that your eyes will be opened to the truth.

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11)

Dear Mayor Smith:

July 7, 2016

Dear Mayor Smith,

My name is Stacey Valley, and I am a long-time resident of North Little Rock. I’m sure you are aware that in the past two days two black men have been killed by police officers in other parts of the country. While we don’t know all of the details, the outcomes of both events could have been avoided.

black father
my husband and youngest daughter on Father’s Day

As a wife of a black man and the mother of four black daughters, I am obviously concerned about their safety when they leave home. I am not suggesting that we have a problem in North Little Rock. In fact, we have several wonderful cops in our city that want to make a difference in the lives of people of color. However there is an inherent danger in being black in this nation, and honestly, I’m scared for my family.

black children
my children enjoying a cool treat at Pineapple Whip

I would like to discuss with you what we can do to ensure that black men, women and children are not viewed as an automatic threat when North Little Rock police interact with them. Perhaps we can create a forum where officers meet the black citizens in this city before pulling them over or stopping them on the playground. Maybe doing so will decrease North Little Rock’s risk of ever having an Alton Sterling incident. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Stacey Valley


This letter was inspired (and mostly plagiarized) from a similar letter than Shun Strickland wrote the mayor of Springdale, AR. 

Summer Reading Parenting Tips

Tips for parents to get kids into regular summer reading routine

More than 50 million children in the U.S. have started their summer vacations and their annual break from homework, tests and assignments. Unfortunately, many of them will stop reading while having fun in the sun and experts say parents need to make sharing books a part of summer vacation and establish regular reading routines for their children.

Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that provides resources and guidance for families to implement home-based literacy routines, has several tips for parents to make reading a part of the summer break.

“Summer reading should be all about the parent-child experience,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., president and CEO of Raising A Reader. “Rather than having it be a chore, or a list of must-read books, summer is a terrific opportunity to build family reading experiences. Whether it’s as simple as reading with children so they can see how much adults love reading, or visiting places and doing activities tied to a book, there are a host of ways reading can help children enjoy the summer and be ready to start school in the fall.”

Here are some of the Raising A Reader tips for parents:

  • Reading often gets lost in the shuffle of summer activities such as camp, sports and vacation travel. Schedule a regular time to share books with your child and establish a regular routine to ensure reading doesn’t become a low priority and has the same importance as other activities.
  • It’s OK to let your child read e-books if he or she is comfortable using a tablet, but remember, whether it’s an e-book or a print book — especially for young children — the most important thing is to spend time together sharing the book. It’s about the experience, not the technology.
  • Make it fun. Have your child come up with a different ending to a story, play ‘what if’ with the characters or the setting, or read the book from end to beginning. Come up with fun ways to engage your child beyond the actual reading of the book.
  • Let your child choose. Books are great, but so are comic books, magazines and even educational websites such as National Geographic Kids or The Discovery Channel. Let them chase their interests and they’ll be reading more than they realize.
  • Create an outdoor reading area so the whole family can enjoy the summer weather and not feel stuck inside. Children generally read indoors, so being outdoors will create a new environment for enjoying a book and boost a child’s enthusiasm for reading.
  • Connect with other families to share books and arrange reading playdates. You can even set up a Facebook group to stay in touch and share ideas, swap books and make plans.
  • Write a book with your child about them, your family, their favorite foods or toy, their friends or whatever interests them most. Your child can draw pictures or use actual photos. If you’re worried that your child spends too much time watching TV or playing video games, have him or her tell you or write a story about their favorite TV show or video game. You can also use one of many templates available to create and print the book on your computer.
  • Invite the family pet to join the book sharing experience. Even if your child can’t read yet, have her ‘read’ the story to you and the pet. Children who can read will be able to practice their skills and children who have not yet learned to read will begin to think of themselves as ‘readers’ which is very important to lifelong learning.
  • Find books that are centered on summer activities he or she enjoys. If your child likes to go horseback riding, for example, find books about horses or stories with horses as an integral part of the plot. This will give a child a welcome change from the types of books read during the school year and better complement their summer.
  • If you are taking a trip, read books about your destination with your child before you leave. Do some research with them on the location and find things in the area they want to do while visiting. And don’t forget to play “I Spy” with road signs or license plates along the way.
  • If you are taking your kids somewhere for the day, such as a pool, the beach, a picnic or the zoo, pack a book to share and have a reading break or two during day. After an hour or so in the water, your child may enjoy 30 minutes of reading on a comfortable chair or even floating on a raft.
  • Create a summer reading challenge with family members or connect to your public library’s summer reading challenge activities. When your child meets the challenge make sure there is time to talk about the book, share the story with others and read the next book.

Raising A Reader is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to helping families develop, practice and maintain literacy habits for children ages 0-8 that are critical for a child’s success in school and in life. The program is evidence-based, with more than 32 independent evaluations showing that Raising A Reader significantly improves language and literacy skills, cognitive development, communication and comprehension skills, school readiness and social competence. Raising A Reader is implemented through a network of community partners that comprise more than 2,500 locations across the country including public school systems, libraries, afterschool programs, community agencies and other organizations both public and private. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Raising A Reader was founded in 1999 and has served more than 1.25 million families nationwide. More information is available at RaisingAReader.org, @RARnational (Twitter) and RaisingAReaderNational (Facebook).

Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!

Disclosure: The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.

Love a GROOVY giveaway?

My friends at Groovy Lab in a Box are hosting a sweepstakes where you can win a one-year subscription (valued at more than $250!). All you have to do is type in your email address, and you are entered.

Click here to enter to win a one-year subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!Groovy Lab in a Box

Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits for kids ages eight and up that teach about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), recently announced a new partnership with Popular Mechanics.

Each month, they send out a themed box filled with investigations that are fun and hands on. The investigations culminate into an Engineering Design Challenge, where your STEMists must apply what they’ve learned from the investigations (and use their critical thinking skills) to complete the challenge. The boxes contain everything you need to complete all of the activities, including a groovy retro-themed lab notebook. The box activities are supplemented with their Beyond…in a Box web portal where your children will find videos and additional, interactive activities. Head over to Groovy Lab in a Box’s website to learn more about this great service!

Good luck! I hope you win!

5 STEM and Maker Apps and Games

School’s out! And that means it’s time to plan for what summer activities should be on schedule. What should you do to keep your kids from the summer slide and regressing academically on their summer break? STEM and maker apps and games.

Traditionally, as the designated family vacation time, summer travel was a great way to teach kids about geography, culture and history. But what about getting your kids to invest a little bit in learning STEM, the hard sciences and math skills that are so important to quality academics and careers?

Not to worry, summer can be a great time to get you kids – especially young ones – to learn science, math and computer skills – especially while road tripping. And with new, highly successful gamification learning and apps, most kids don’t even know they are learning computer coding or physics.

STEM-based, maker movement compatible games and activities

Finding and using a few of these STEM-based, maker movement compatible games and activities can absolutely stall the summer learning slide and may even give your kids a leg up next year or even further down the road.

While you may want to spend a few minutes searching computer and STEM learning activities for the summer, here are a few ideas and options to get you started. Many of these are free – or less than $6.

1. Lego Education – get kits for hands-on building mechanized buildme-slider-9b6ec45b65253f312e6368bf3fd677b3robots and other tech and engineering marvels using Legos. And much, much more.


2. Simple Physics – an app that allows kids to build things such as skyscrapers and bridges using real physics and engineering and calculating cost considerations.


3. Blokus – an easy, kid-focused app based strategy game that rewards strategic decision making and spatial awareness.


4. Tynker – introduce kids to the basics of computer coding with the leading app and learning platform for coding for kids.


compass unit5. Orienteering – an outside, map-based logic sport and game that’s more than a century old – teaching map skills and navigation.


Today an Elephant I Will Be!

Kathy Walsh, the award-winning author of “Love is the Moon, the Sky, and the Stars”, is thrilled to announce the release of a new children’s book. “Today an Elephant I Will Be!” guides children through the process of finding peace through whimsical illustrations, charming language, and a resounding message.

“Today an Elephant I Will Be!”

Today an Elephant I Will Be

As part of the Joyohboy book series in conjunction with Peace Place for Kids, Kathy Walsh’s message seeks to show children that finding peace comes from the inside. By understanding mindfulness, learning to ask for help, and identifying what peace means to them, children lead a happier life filled with positivity.

“Connecting with peace puts the child in harmony with life,” Kathy stated. “When children connect with peace, they live a life of joy, because that is what they attract. They are able to go to that place of peace inside, no matter what is happening on the outside, and ultimately, peace is where the power lies. They are in control when they are at peace.”


Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

“Today an Elephant I Will Be!” is just one of the many books available from Joyohboy, one of the many successful mindfulness and peace ventures launched by Kathy Walsh. “My intention with creating Joyohboy is to have a space where books, meditations, and products support mindful parenting” Walsh states on her website. Joyohboy provides parents with the tools and resources necessary to help their children live a peaceful life and make an impactful change on the world.

Other books available from Joyohboy and Peace Place for Kids include “30 Days to a Mindful Home”, “Life is a Rainbow”, and “Raising Peaceful Kids”.

“Today an Elephant I Will Be!” debuted at the NY Vegetarian Food Festival on May 7th and 8th, 2016. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and can also be found by visiting www.joyohboy.com.

About Kathy Walsh

Those who know Kathy’s story will tell you that her career and position as a mindfulness expert is no coincidence. Inspired by her whimsical and influential childhood experiences, Kathy set out to live a positive life of mindfulness and peace. A master meditator and avid reader and author of mindfulness books, Kathy created a series of children’s books and meditations called Joyohboy. Boasting more than 20 years of experience working with children, the arts, and education, Kathy finds nothing more exciting than helping children and their families find a life of peace. In addition to her adventures in peace and mindfulness, Kathy also owns and operates KnockKnock Social and provides marketing and branding strategies with integrity to companies worldwide. For more information on Kathy Walsh, Joyohboy, and Peace Place for Kids, please visit www.joyohboy.com.

Five Tips to Avoid Raising Financially Illiterate Kids

“Many parents would rather talk to their kids about sex and politics than money,” says St. Louis investment expert, Matt Hall, President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group.

He continues, “The dangers of not being financially literate are huge. Many parents set the child up for failure by remaining silent on the topic of money, but also by helping to create a lifestyle that is unsustainable once the child is independent. We all want to build resilient little people, but the key is to be intentional about the lessons and values we talk about, teach and model.”

Some advice for talking to your kids this summer, Hall adds, ”Talk about making money, analyze costs, develop a plan and recognize the power of being responsible…these are the initial steps for success.”  He can break it down into age groups as well – from toddler to teen – but here are some tips:

  • When should a parent begin talking to their kids about money? 

A general rule of thumb is to start teaching basic money concepts when a child can count. The truth is that they’ve probably already started learning about money by watching and observing Mom and Dad’s behaviors when dealing with and talking about money. Check out this awesome link for a curriculum to follow from kindergarten to 12th grade http://pin.it/AGaKZce.
Free Week of Healthy Kids Inc Meal Planner

  • How should a parent open the dialogue?

Start by making it natural. Normalize the topic by talking about it and being open regarding how you and the family will make important money decisions. Conversations can start at the check out counter or at the kitchen table, but the point is to start and then layer money talk in wherever and whenever you can.

  • Should children get an allowance?

Yes, an allowance can be considered income for a child’s first job. It’s not a gift. Make the expectations crystal clear and hold firm to paying only for top notch work. If making the bed is a basic requirement then don’t pay for it. Pay for tasks that go beyond expected chores.

  • When a child has their own money, how should they be advised to spend it?

Consider sharing experience instead of giving advice. Let your child consider making a choice instead of feeling like she might have to either go with your guidance or against it. Talk about taxes, charity and personal spending decisions you’ve made in the past. Which ones are you proud of and why? Where would you love to have a “do over.”

  • If my son wants to spend all his money in the vending machine, should I stop him?

If your son makes a conscious decision to spend all his money in the vending machine the consequence will be revealed when he can’t buy something else. One of the best ways to teach kids about the boundaries of money is for them to bump into them (in safe ways) on their own. Think of this as tuition towards a valuable lesson.

Unlike the often dry and academic investment advice provided by brokers, Hall’s storytelling is entertaining and inspirational and he has advice for all age groups including children and teens. In fact, he details his inspiring story and his evidence-based investing methods in his new memoir-manifesto, Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor.

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Matt Hall is the President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group with offices in St. Louis, MO and Houston, TX. He is the lead on all strategic matters — crafting the firm’s vision, establishing its exceptional standards, and managing key relationships. Hall is forever a student of his craft and has attended the highest level of training and education tied to investment theory and practice. What’s more, Hall has led many training programs for top advisors, and founded a peer group of hundreds of advisors, called Evidence-Based Advisors, from the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Canada.

Hall graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He and his wife, Lisa, have a young daughter who is the star of their lives.

Learn more about Hall at matthallbook.com and connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Odds On is currently available on 800 CEO Read, Amazon and other fine booksellers. 

Rock of Ages Coming to Little Rock, July 7-24



JULY 7 – 24, 2016

Rock of Ages


Performances are July 7, 8 (Grand Opening Celebration), 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 2016

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances (July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23) will begin at 7:30pm

Sunday matinees (July 10, 17, 24) will begin at 2:30pm


Tickets are $25.00 for general admission

Tickets are $20.00 for Seniors (65+), Military, and Students.

There are no assigned seats at The Studio Theatre

The box office will open at 6:30pm on performance dates and the house will open approximately 20 minutes prior to curtain.

Tickets may be purchased at eventbrite.com through the link below:


We highly recommend that tickets be purchased in advance, as we cannot guarantee availability at the door.

The Lobby Bar is open before and after the show and during intermission.

Rated R for language, adult humor, and suggestive clothing.


Tickets for the Grand Opening Celebration (July 8, 2016) are $50 and include a catered cocktail buffet and an open bar (beer and wine) from 6:00 pm-7:30 p.m.  Following the show, a champagne toast with the cast and crew will end this amazing evening!

Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rock-of-ages-grand-opening-gala-tickets-25747038084


Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical, built around classic rock songs from the glam metal bands of the 1980s, including Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, and Poison among other well-known rock bands.

The show is designed to be a hybrid experience that lies somewhere between rock concert and musical theatre.  During the performance, the performers directly address the audience.

Despite the musical’s title, the Def Leppard song of the same name is not included in the musical.

The original Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances, closing on January 18, 2015 as the 27th-longest running show in Broadway history.

On July 1, 2009, the cast set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Air Guitar Ensemble. A total of 810 participants, including audience members and fans, shattered the previous record of 440 people playing air guitar simultaneously.


It’s the tail end of the big, bad 1980s in Hollywood, and the party has been raging hard. Aqua Net, Lycra, lace and liquor flow freely at one of the Sunset Strip’s last legendary venues, a place where sex machine Stacee Jaxx takes the stage and scantily clad groupies line up to turn their fantasies into reality. Amidst the madness, aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for small-town girl Sherri, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes). But the rock and roll fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can Drew, Sherri and the gang save the strip–and themselves–before it’s too late? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and more hold the answer.


Music Arranged & Orchestrated by
Ethan Popp

Book by
Chris D’Arienzo

Justin A. Pike

Music Director
Chuck Massey

Assistant Director
Tanner Oglesby

Sara Adams Reynolds

Stage Manager
Beth Ross

Assistant Stage Manager
Jennifer Jackson Restum

Scenic Design
Justin A. Pike

Lighting Design
Joey DiPette

Costume Design
Trent Reese

Production Assistants
Tye Davis
Antwon Staton
Shawn O’Brien
Rachel Brown



DREW BOLEY – Micah Patterson

LONNY BARNETT – Michael Goodbar

DENNIS DUPREE – Danny Troillett

STACEE JAXX – Adam Smith



FRANZ KLINEMANN – Benjanmin Mills

REGINA MCKAIG – Gabi Baltzley

MAYOR/JA’KEITH – Jeremiah James Herman

JOEY PRIMO – Michael Smith



WAITRESS – Molly Rosenthal

WAITRESS – Reagan Hammonds

WAITRESS – Casey Labbate

Tamara Murry Boggs
Cole Chandler
Mikala Hicks
Luke Johnson


320 W. 7TH Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201



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A blog by Stacey Valley.