How to Teach Kids About Race
When to Start Talking to Kids About Race
Stages of Cognitive Development and Racial Socialization
Resources for Teaching Kids About Race
Infants and Toddlers
- Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism, PBS: tips and resources for parents including videos, articles and books to share with children.
- 10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race, EmbraceRace: recommendations for adults to introduce discussions about race, including advice and talking points.
- 16 Ways to Help Children Become Thoughtful, Informed and Brave About Race, EmbraceRace: additional tips for furthering conversations and empowering young children to think about open-mindedness, inclusion and self-love.
- Racial Justice, Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel: video library of segments where the Sesame Street cast explains the building blocks of racial literacy to family audiences.
Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race, Academia: downloadable explainer of research on children’s developmental stages relating to racial socialization.
- Teaching Young Children About Race: A Guide for Parents and Teachers, Teaching for Change: strategies for teaching children about physical differences and similarities among races, and fostering respectful relationships.
- 20 Picture Books for 2020: Readings to Embrace Race, Provide Solace and Do Good, Embrace Race: book list of stories that represent a range of racial and ethnic identities and cultures for young children.
- When Do Kids Notice Race? Way Earlier Than Most Adults Think, Futurity: article written by developmental psychologists explaining research about cognitive development and racial socialization.
- Children’s Books By Black Authors, The Conscious Kid: book list featuring Black authors of stories for young children.
- Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity and Social Justice, Edutopia: five basic strategies for getting started with racial socialization lessons and conversations.
- An Activity Book For African American Families: Helping Children Cope With Crisis, National Black Child Development Institute and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: downloadable activity book that helps parents encourage communication and a sense of safety in discussions of race.
- Talking to Kids About Discrimination, APA: strategies and guidelines for discussing sensitive topics related to discrimination with young children.
- Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (PDF, 3MB) , Learning for Justice: downloadable book with chapters organized by age, including expert Q&As and strategies for difficult conversations.
- Exploring Cultures Around the World, Learning for Justice: lesson plans for learning about different cultures and groups of people designed for K-2 grade students.
- Let’s Talk About Race, Parents magazine: collection of articles on topics including tips for white parents raising diversity-aware kids and how to explain microaggressions to a kid.
- 7 Ways to Highlight Resistance Efforts When Discussing Oppression With Children, EmbraceRace: list of strategies for talking about racial justice movements with kids.
- Raising Race-Conscious Children: How to Talk to Kids About Race and Racism, University of Michigan Department of Health: strategies for talking about privilege, race and discrimination, recommended by a pediatrician.
- Books About Racism and Social Justice, Common Sense Media: curated books that tell stories of people’s lived experiences with race and inequality, organized by age group from 2-14+.
- Systemic Racism Explained, act.tv’s YouTube Channel: video explaining how systemic racism works through storytelling about a Black family and a white family.
- Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality, Brightly: curated book list for kids organized by age group, including picture books and chapter books.
- Talking to kids about race, National Geographic: strategies for introducing and continuing candid, honest conversations about race with children.
- Engaging My Child: Parent Tip Tool, APA: self-reflective questions and strategies for engaging with children, organized by age group and part of the APA’s RESilience program that focuses on racial and ethnic socialization.
- Breaking Down “Structural” and “Systemic” Racism for Our Children, EmbraceRace: video and transcript of an interview between a health equity research scientist and public school educator about explaining racism to children.
- Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, Second Edition, by Louise Derman-Sparks, Julie Olsen Edwards and Catherine M. Goins: book for early childhood educators and school staff about anti-bias curriculum planning, from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
- Talking to Children After Racial Incidents, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education: interview with clinical psychologist and professor who studies racial literacy and racial trauma about engaging children in conversations about race.
- 100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Racial Justice, Raising Race Conscious Children: examples of language and strategies for instilling positive, inclusive ideas about racial socialization.
- Talking to Kids About Race and Racism, Nemours KidsHealth: explanations of why and how to engage the whole family in conversations about race.
- Let’s Talk! External link , Learning for Justice: guide for navigating conversations with young people about white privilege, police violence and mass incarceration.
- Educating All of Our Children: Understanding and Addressing Implicit Bias The Perception Institute: downloadable article that explains implicit bias and how it affects students’ development and socialization.
- Book Lists, The Conscious Kid: curated lists of books on different topics of anti-racism, resilience and racial literacy.
- Racial Literacy Key Terms, The Conscious Kid: glossary of terms used in discussions of racial socialization and literacy.
- Supporting Kids of Color in the Wake of Racialized Violence, EmbraceRace: podcast episode about supporting children of color in conversations about police brutality and racial violence.
- Talking to Teens About Race, Momentous Institute: ideas for parents to initiate questions about race and perception with their teens.
- Talking About Race With Teens, Center for Parent & Teen Communication: interview with Dr. Howard Stevenson, professor and director of Forward Promise, about advice for talking to teens about racial differences and self-love.
- Teaching Materials to Explore by Theme, Zinn Education Project: lesson plans for teaching students about a range of racial, ethnic, religious and gender identities.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Race, Racism and Police Violence, WBUR: interview highlights from an episode of On Point podcast, with ideas for engaging young people in conversations about race and explaining racial incidents in the news.
- How to Talk to Kids and Teens About Racism, Hillside Atlanta: strategies for finding out what kids may already think about race and engaging in ongoing discussions about it.
- What It Takes to Be Racially Literate, TED: video of a TED Talk from Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo that combines personal stories and research about racial literacy.
Resources for Social Workers and Adults Who Work With Children
- Race and Violence Should Be a School-Wide Subject, EduTopia: roadmap for schools and their communities for discussing racial violence, police brutality and support for students of color.
- Children’s Books With Strong Black Characters, PBS: curated book list that features diverse examples of Black stories and characters for kids.
- First Encounters With Race and Racism: Teaching Ideas for Classroom Conversations, New York Times: firsthand accounts from teenagers to guide discussions about race in the classroom.
- Beyond Statements and Hashtags: Effective Practices to Disrupt Dehumanization, Forward Promise: downloadable guide of 10 applicable and relevant strategies for educating communities to support and affirm boys and young men of color.
- What White Children Need to Know About Race, National Association of Independent Schools: article explaining specific skills, strategies and implementations for racial socialization in a school setting.
- Talking to Kids About Racial Stereotypes (PDF, 287KB), Media Smarts: printable tip sheet for discussing media portrayals of characters of different races with children of all ages.
- Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools, by Howard C. Stern: book about implementing and measuring outcomes of racial literacy skills in school settings.
- Talking to Kids About Racism and Justice: A List for Parents, Caregivers and Educators, Oakland Public Library: shareable Google doc of resources for adults to use in lesson plans, discussions and curricula for young learners.
- Other People’s Children, by Lisa Delpit: a book analysis of the role of race in the contemporary classroom, written for educators, administrators and other school staff.
- Talking to Kids About Racism and Violence, Child Mind Institute: tips for educating and supporting children while navigating and encouraging their curiosity about race.
- How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help, Brightly: ideas and book recommendations for adults to explore before they begin talking to children about race.
- Teaching Hard History Podcast External link , Learning for Justice: podcast episodes covering a range of history topics about racism, civil rights and police violence in the United States.
- Resources for Educators Focusing on Anti-Racist Learning and Teaching, Early Childhood Education Assembly: curated resources for school professionals who want to further their own education before introducing conversations about race in the classroom.
- Black Lives Matter: Anti-Racism Resources for Social Workers and Therapists, Social Work Career: toolkit of resources for clinicians who want to learn more about anti-racism strategies, or to use with their clients.
- Teaching for Black Lives: book written by a community of advocates to encourage educators to connect curricula with student activism and collective action for racial equity and justice.
- How to Talk to Kids About Anti-Asian Violence, Parents magazine: article for parents to think intentionally and creatively about discussing violence and introducing other cultures in a positive way.
- How to Honor Indigenous Peoples with Your Kids, Today and Every Day, PBS SoCal: ideas for centering the experiences of Native communities, including self-reflective and exploratory questions for learning about heritage, community and the history of indigenous lands.
Organizations Dedicated to Racial Socialization
- EduColor: organization founded by people of color, for people of color to advocate for the discussion of race and social justice in education.
- EmbraceRace: organization dedicated to creating and distributing resources for racial socialization that cater to young children.
- Forward Promise: organization that uses research and fundraising to advance culturally relevant healing practices for boys and young men of color.
- Learning for Justice: free resources for adults working with K-12 students to inform and supplement racially inclusive and justice-oriented curricula.
- The Perception Institute: research institute focused on translating scientific findings on race, gender and ethnicity into remedies for sectors such as education, health care, law enforcement and media.
- Project LIT Community: online community of educators and students working to eliminate book deserts and anti-racist reading policies at schools across the country.
- Raising Race Conscious Children: blog for adults who are interested in fostering discussions about race with young children.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice: collective action community aimed at increasing participation of white people in social justice efforts.