Talking to Elementary Kids About Racism and Equality

Talking about racism and equality with elementary-age kids isn’t easy, but it’s important. Here are some links to, and excerpts from, resources to help start meaningful conversations. 


A Discussion About Race And Racism
But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

In this ~45-minute recording, the authors of The ABCs of Diversity answer kids’ questions to help them gain a better understanding about racism. 

Q: “What is white privilege?”
A: “It’s not necessarily that your life is easy … it’s just that your skin color isn’t one of the things that is likely to make your life harder.”


Talking to Children About Racial Bias
The American Academy of Pediatrics

This AAP article discusses how racial bias works in children and provides strategies to help them deal with and challenge racial bias and stereotypes.

"Talking about race is not racist. It's OK – and important. From a young age, children may have questions about racial differences and parents must be prepared to answer them."


How to Talk Honestly With Children About Racism
PBS Kids for Parents

Dr. Aisha White shares tips to help parents prepare for and begin difficult conversations with children by using picture books, activities, and asking questions.

“In this moment, we must choose to have confidence in ourselves and in our children – that we, and they, can handle tough topics and tough situations.


Talking to your kids about racism
UNICEF Parenting

The United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide offers actionable advice to parents on how to raise kids who challenge racism, demonstrate kindness, and stand up for every person's right to be treated with dignity and respect.

“Conversations about racism and discrimination will look different for each family. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the science is clear: the earlier parents start the conversation with their children the better.”


Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism 
CNN & Sesame Street

This two-part TV town hall broadcast explores different ways to combat racism and prejudice and features Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the four-year-old Muppet character Abby Cadabby.

“Our children learn anti-racism and racial justice from us. If they watch us look away when we encounter racism, that's what they learn the right thing to do is. So we need to model for them and partner with them as we work in our local communities.”


Talking to Kids about Race
National Geographic

Heather Greenwood Davis of Globetrotting Mama shares tips on how to start the conversation about racism with kids, and how to open up the lines of communication so .

“Recent protests are sparking questions from children. Not shying away from those conversations is the first step in raising an anti-racist child.”


Equity and Healthy Racial Identity Resources
The Conscious Kid

This nonprofit education, research, and policy organization has compiled extensive resources to promote equity and foster positive racial identity development in youth. 

“To counter anti-Black bias and racism, experts recommend naming and taking action against racism with kids as early and as often as possible.”


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