Talking to Children about Race and Racism
If you’re struggling with how to start an authentic conversation on race and racism with your child — or how to answer their questions about diversity and identity — you’re not alone. It can be difficult or even uncomfortable for families to begin having these conversations, but they’re critical to helping children develop a healthy sense of self and their place in the world.
That’s why we were excited that our executive director, Renée Wilson-Simmons, was invited to participate in a virtual panel of parents, educators, and child development and trauma experts for an important conversation about how you can talk with young children about racial injustice and violence against Black people.
Hosted by PBS Kids, the panel explored questions such as: How can parents of Black children continue to instill confidence and pride in young kids while also explaining the racial inequity and barriers that continue today? And, how can parents of non-Black children help young kids understand their role in confronting anti-Black racism?
Here are some of the resources shared during the event:
- A list of children’s books about racism, categorized by age.
- Books to help kids understand racial protests (published by the New York Times)
- PBS Frontline: A Class Divided is the story of Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, and her decision to divide her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and give them a daring lesson in discrimination.
- Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school.
For a replay of the panel, visit the PBS Kids YouTube Channel.