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For some, having a conversation about racism has never occurred among the adults in their life, let alone with their children. As with other effects of white privilege, the issue of racism may not even be obvious to them. Yet for many minority communities, racism is a constant undertone in their daily lives, making it necessary to have this conversation early with their children. To move forward united, we all should be talking to our children about what racism is, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to overcome it. Here’s how you can bridge those conversations.

Education / Awareness

Words of wisdom

Darius Spence, a 10-year old boy, says he was sad and angry when he heard about the death of George Floyd. You can hear his story, and his thoughts on racism and what needs to change for a more positive future in this video he created with the help of his mother.

A timeline of race awareness

“This infographic really spoke to me. With a 13-month-old and one on the way, I’d previously assumed that parenting discussions on race were years off for me.” — Amanda Wachiniski

In a recent post of social justice resources, this chart provides an easy-to-understand guide about the awareness and biases children develop around race throughout their development. “The research and resources this chart provides around understanding a child’s development cycles will help me plan ahead for discussions and take actions with my children to support developing aware and accepting individuals and contributors to society,” Wachiniski said.

Books

This list of 26 books to support conversations on race and racism resistance can combine story time with learning.

Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given to “outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” Great reading for children and adults, alike!

“In addition to speaking with, and reading to your children about racism, it is important to read books with them that have non-white characters. Doing this gives visibility to other races, and helps de-center whiteness. Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper is a book that we love in our house. We also enjoy Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, and Abuela by Arthur Doros.” — Kate Collardson

Additional resources

This list includes resources for parents and teachers, as well as a list of children’s books that will help start the conversation.

This list of children’s books that tackle racism in age-appropriate ways will help you tailor content for sharing.

If you are a parent, educator, or caregiver interested in diversity and inclusion, yet unsure of where to start, or how to have conversations with children about it, you are not alone. There are valuable tips in this article, “Why Talking to Our Children about Diversity & Inclusion is Important, Yet Hard”.

This great podcast from Inclusion School is designed to help parents, educators, and caregivers have tough conversations around inclusion with children.

CNN Health posted an article about “How to talk to your children about protests and racism.”

Common Sense Media had put together this list of resources on race and racism that includes advice for parents on using media to discuss racism; Books, movies, apps, tv shows, games, and other media recommendations; and tips for discussing breaking news/ and disturbing topics.

This Embrace Race webinar helps answer the question, “How do I make sure I’m not raising the next Amy Cooper?”