Some have observed that the current Black Lives Matter protests are bringing out a higher number of white supporters than previous movements. Drake University professor Jennifer Harvey credits that additional support to the "faithful work” of grassroots activists over the past decade, but expressed skepticism that it represents a sea-change.

"I am a white American, but I really don’t trust white people to be in it for the long haul,” she said. "I hope that’s what we’re seeing happening, but… I’m not gonna make predictions.”

On Wednesday, Harvey called in to Boston Public Radio to discuss the role white parents can play in creating a more just and anti-racist America. Harvey is the author of “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America,” and "Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation.”

So what can white allies, and parents in particular, do to keep the momentum going?

“One of the most important is that we have to, for once and for all, give up this idea that teaching our kids generic equality, or so-called ‘color blindness’ is what we should be doing,” Harvey said. “We have to actively teach them, from very young ages, to talk about race.”

Harvey then offered a few examples of ways parents can teach their children to acknowledge and confront racism, both at home and in their community.

“It’s very common in white families, for the sake of avoiding conflict, to never challenge racism when it shows up in our family and friend networks,” she said. "We go ‘oh… we don’t want conflict at Christmas dinner, and so just let Uncle Joe say his piece and we’ll silently disagree.’

"Not only does that put cohesion of value above speaking about other people’s human rights, it also teaches our children that when they encounter racism, the best thing they can do is look away,” Harvey argued. "Think about, collectively, what that does to our social body? It raises a generation of youth who think ‘oh, racism! Ooh, I’m just gonna turn away.’ And then Black people die, right?"

In those sorts of situations, Harvey said expressing your own discomfort with the racist comments can go a long way in changing family discourse.

“Sometimes in families what happens, over time, other people will start actually speaking up, too,” she said. “We change the family culture. Uncle Joe may go to his grave an active racist in this way, but the family culture now is functioning, potentially, in a different way over time.”

Outside of the home, Harvey recommended that parents talk to their kids about the messaging around race in school.

"I remember, profoundly, one of my children coming home for a while, talking about George Washington. And it was a wonderful school, but I was hearing her celebrate him without ever talking about the fact that George Washington enslaved people who were African, right?

"I kept thinking, ‘man, I need to engage this, because we have Black people in our lives,” she said. "I want her to know that he’s not just a hero, right? And when I did that with her, then we started to talk about ‘how is your teacher talking about this at school, can we talk with your teacher about teaching this in a different way?”

Harvey said interactions that like these have the potential to effect change beyond a single conversation with a teacher or school administrator.

"That not only potentially impacts the school, but also partners with my child to help her learn, ‘oh, when there’s racism out in our community, we have a role to play in changing the discourse — in changing the conversation.'"