Stories, Prompts, and More for Families to Inspire Open Conversations


On activism:

“#BlackoutTuesday: A Music Industry Protest Becomes a Social Media Moment,” June 2,

2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/arts/music/what-blackout-tuesday.html

Questions to Spark a Conversation:

1. What is the impact of social media on social movements and activism?

2. What role are young adults and teens assuming in the context of activism?



On the environment and just for fun:

1. What should we do with extra food?

Background and Guiding Resource (if needed):


Why American farmers are throwing out tons of milk,” June 18, 2020

2. Is Water Wet?


On the back to school and the pandemic:

Fortner is one of countless teachers across the country forced to decide

between bringing home a paycheck for their family and potentially entering what

feels like a microbial war zone every day, risking constant exposure to hundreds

of other teachers and kids.

--from CNN , 2020, link



On activism and the pandemic:

...if the young people in the world want change, they will not stop to try to get it.

“Activism has always been something that is very important to me, whether it’s being involved

in/supporting movements for people of color, the environment, women or the LGBTQ

community. When we first got into quarantine I was a little discouraged because there was so

much going on and I thought that my friends and I wouldn’t be able to help with these

movements, because we couldn’t attend protests or get involved through school. However,

being in quarantine has helped me to figure out how to do the most I can to help. Whenever I

was bored, which has lately been a lot, I tried to look up ways that I could help out, and it turns

out there are so many more resources now. There has More people across the globe can

become part of different movements, regardless of where they live or who they are. Now, you

can do things like attend Zoom calls with people around the world to discuss how to combat

climate change, or call senators to demand justice for people of color; there are so many

opportunities for so many people to explore, that if we weren’t in quarantine, most people

wouldn’t think to look into. I always feel inspired when I do things like this, because the majority

of the time when I am on a Zoom call, it is mostly kids and teens that are my age who are using

their time and resources to do things like this. It makes you realize that being part of a

movement means sticking with it even in times like these, and trying to keep it progressing.

There are more people than you think who want to be part of these movements. So many

movements I have joined have already made so much progress, which shows that if the young

people in the world want change, they will not stop to try to get it.”

--Teen (F / 16 / Chicago, IL)


Become a kinder and more empathetic person.

"Many of us were left with more free time during this pandemic. There was less school-work to

do, no after school activities and even less time hanging out with friends. My mom always said,

“If you are bored, it is because you are boring.” There are simply too many things to be

fascinated by and too many activities to try and master to ever be bored for an extended period

of time. This is a wonderful time to let your curiosity lead you to exploration. Learn to play guitar,

write a book of poems, or anything else you have been putting off because you did not have the

time. I promise you will be a more interesting person for the effort you put forth and also proud

of what you accomplish. Become a kinder and more empathetic person. The world needed

more kindness before the pandemic and certainly needs even more now. If we are going to

make our communities the types of places we can all be proud of, then kindness is going to be a

core ingredient. Despite the challenges of isolation during this time, reach out to those you love

and those in need. Let them know you care and miss them. The superpower of the future may

well be empathy. Connecting with other human beings and understanding what is important to

them will make you a better person and strengthen your community.”

--Paul Waechtler, Principle of New Trier Northfield Campus


The Page from a Diary section makes it easy to open conversations about some "hard to start' topics by using the words of others. It includes heartfelt remarks by real kids (maybe yours?) that offer discussion openers about topics such as stress, school, family problems, sex and sexuality, gender identification, racial slurs and discrimination, violence, the media, teasing, bullying, cyberbullying, body image, drinking, drugs, healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships, rape, pregnancy, money and privilege and lack of it, hope for the future, and more.

Are American teenagers really better off than their third world counterparts? An American teenage lifestyle seems much more idealistic than that of third world country adolescents. However, growing up in modern day American society is a formidable obstacle and no joy ride. Pressure is everywhere. Whether it is peer, parent, or even self-inflicted pressure, it has a major impact on teenage life. Every kid is trying to reach higher and higher because of expectations placed upon them. These expectations can take many forms including being valedictorian, football quarterback, or fitting into a size zero pair of jeans. 



Movies, books, and more to supplement your conversations

Further Resources on the Pandemic:

Frontline : Coronavirus Pandemic, April 21, 2020


Further Resources on Activism:

13th, October 7, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8

Have a story you think will spark a conversation? Or just a thought?

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