I’m really excited to be featuring Adelaide Lancaster as the latest Parent Who Inspires! She is a co-founder of We Stories, a St. Louis based non-profit whose mission is to use the power of children’s literature to create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis, and a stronger, more equitable and inclusive future for all.
I was first introduced to Adelaide through her blog, Parenting While White. I was researching resources around parenting and race shortly after starting A Striving Parent and Google led me straight to Adelaide. She now blogs for We Stories, where her writing continues to be eloquent and highly relatable to me as a White mother striving to raise race conscious, White kids.
We Stories’ primary program is called the Family Learning Program, where a cohort of 50 families are provided with: 4 age-appropriate books per child that feature diverse characters, examine differences, and address race and racism; monthly book recommendations for each age group, discounts for purchasing books and a library program for borrowing; accompanying resources to support meaningful parent-child interactions and adult learning each month; access to a supportive community of growth-minded families; invitations to story times, coffee talks, play dates, workshops, and neighborhood gatherings; and more!
Adelaide is working hard to foster change within her local and national communities. Read on and be inspired!
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Adelaide Lancaster and I live in St. Louis with my husband and 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and 2. I am an east-coast transplant and a social entrepreneur. This last year I started, with a business partner, an organization called We Stories that uses children’s books to help families start and strengthen conversations about race and racism. It sits at the nexus of all of my interests – parenting, citizenship, and community building.
As a parent, what’s your favorite part about living in your city?
There is SO much to do in St. Louis. There are family oriented activities and organizations everywhere. Most things are easy to get to and accessible. There’s virtually no traffic and easy parking. We love enjoying new activities and exhibits and neighborhoods. And love that it’s easy to find and take advantage of all that St. Louis has to offer.
What are your passion projects or in what ways do you engage with your local or national community?
We Stories is more than a full-time job at this point. But I’m really great at creating work for myself and I love meeting new people. I am also active in my local Moms Demand Gun Action chapter, I support our local politicians, support Planned Parenthood, get involved in our schools, and try to participate in The League of Women Voters.
Because Missouri is a battleground state on Gun Violence Protection and Reproductive Rights there are a lot of opportunities to support these causes that are very important to me.
What’s your favorite part of your civic engagement activities?
I love to learn new things and meet new people. I’m inspired and motivated by those who engage in meaningful work and care about issues of equity, access, and inclusion. I’ve found many mentors and role models through my civic engagement and volunteering. It’s so amazing to learn how much difference one person really can make when others listen.
What inspires you to engage in these activities?
I love bringing new people to the conversation and showing people who it’s ok to care about something passionately. Engagement is important and a vital part of our country and democracy. I really believe that silence and apathy are easily exploited, and that caring, showing up, speaking up, standing up and voting make a huge difference!
Any words of wisdom for parents wanting to create space for civic engagement in their own busy lives?
1. Social media allows the busiest of us all to play a role in civic engagement and dialog.
2. Find roles that make sense for your life stage. There are years and years ahead where you may be more available to work an election or campaign but in the meantime maybe you can commit to making 5 phone calls during nap time.
3. Make it part of your social life! I like connecting with people who have similar passions and find it easier to volunteer when I’m doing it with a friend.
I am continuously inspired by Adelaide. Her writing is incredibly compelling, thoughtful and pushes me to self-reflect and strive for better. And Adelaide doesn’t just offer lip service; her actions speak just as loudly if not louder than her words.
I’m thrilled folks in St. Louis get to benefit from the awesome resources and programming We Stories provides. Luckily, those of us who do not live in St. Louis can gain access to some of those resources by following them on Facebook and Twitter. We Stories introduces me to a lot of great content on a daily basis.
Adelaide is most definitely a parent who inspires.