Like many of you, I have been reading extensively—and sadly—about the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American student. Some of the most insightful pieces I’ve found have come from parents—whose families cover a range of color.

Chiles also wrote—back in 2010—about the shooting by police of an apparently innocent 20-year-old, black, Pace University student, Danroy Henry, Jr. (Coincidentally, records in that case just became public this month.) As with the suicides of gay teens that hit the news in the fall of 2010, tragedies like these are not in fact new, but part of a long and disturbing trend.

What can we do—as individuals and as a society—to create a world that values all our children, in all their diversity?