You are in for a treat because NPR has a comic series accompanying this episode.
One of my new year resolution for 2021 is to learn how to be an engaged citizen. I know very little about it, but I trust my ability to learn. The recent hate crimes against AAPI made me want to learn more about how to participate in public life. Thus I googled ‘NPR engaged citizen’ and this episode jumped out. It was targeted towards parents teaching their kids about civics, but I loved it too.
A few points stood out to me. One is to practice tolerant disagreement, not to demonize people you disagree with. The other one is to take a neighborhood walk and see which buildings are public institutions and which are private ones (maybe what is the history of making some of it public).
Engage in public life with actions from volunteering, to writing letters to representatives, to go to a protest, to vote with your family.
Do not gloss over the hard history. Expose kids to different viewpoints and different communities so they can better build their empathy.
Finally balance the bad parts of the history with the good parts. Make it fun.