June 19-20, 2020
June 20th, 2020: Summer Solstice. The official end of Spring and the beginning of summer. After being blindsided by a deadly pandemic, the world finds itself in a new post-Covid 19 era of dealing with a deadly virus while working from home and learning from home. With most summer camps and schools suspended due to the pandemic, parents/caregivers continue to keep their children at home while also educating them during the long summer days that lie ahead. This is, of course, on top of continuing to themselves work full time from home.
June 19, 2020: Juneteenth. Our post-Covid world is also witnessing another life changing moment as the protests following the killing of George Floyd gathered momentum, and the Black Lives Matter movement now impacting legislation on policing policies around the country.
How to address issues of race and racial injustice with young children is currently the most discussed topic in many homes. There is a plethora of information out there and reading through all of it can be overwhelming. I have selected a handful of multimodal sites to share here. This list is certainly not complete and there is a lot more available in terms of relevant resources. But I have deliberately kept this list short and easy to navigate. Some of these resources contain information for parents/caregivers and teachers, and others can be explored together with children. My hope is that it will provide a starting point for families/teachers who are just beginning this discussion with young children, and will support them with helpful tools to address the topic of racial injustice.
Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race: Racism expands beyond skin color. It includes cultural norms and behavior, language, and other markers of racial and ethnic identity. Therefore it is important to introduce children to stories and books that demonstrate that people of color are complex and diverse persons and not a monolithic group. This site offers a long list of books on racial diversity which provide parents with an easy place to start exploring with their children how to destigmatize difference & celebrate racial diversity. https://booksforlittles.com/racial-diversity/?fbclid=IwAR39vJQQyCnHfhF0m66o67GnGgR9BuWclmDQJXBQuUwznf1-YxaZxSzM_l4
100 race-conscious things you can say to your child to advance racial justice: Don’t know the words to use or to explain a race-related idea? This site is a great resource for adults as it models the language they can use when they are trying to talk about race with young children, with the goals of dismantling the color-blind framework and preparing young people to work toward racial justice. Examples of terms that are explained include racism, multi-racial, violence, activism, homelessness, the Thanksgiving holiday, sexism, white privilege, gender identity, and others. http://www.raceconscious.org/2016/06/100-race-conscious-things-to-say-to-your-child-to-advance-racial-justice/
Social Justice Summer Curriculum for Children of Color: This website offers a carefully planned summer curriculum to be used by parents during the summer. It was compiled by a group of five Chicana Mothers and can be adapted for any family of color and any age-group of children. It is a six-week Social Justice Summer Curriculum based on these mothers’ beliefs that teaching abolition and liberation begins at home. For each week the curriculum provides a suggested activity, a book to read, and flash cards to introduce to the children the language and vocabulary of inclusion. https://www.chicanamotherwork.com/summer-2020?fbclid=IwAR3EWxFXpUDerB4bPKEVHS-4uyKImkNg-4qu0i-FtqdW3z4ThMV4tU0Z6tM
Podcast: The Parent Scoop - bringing education research and knowledge to parents, from parents.This podcast is hosted by Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Ed.D., education professor and mom of two and has a wonderful collection of conversations with experts that does a deep-dive on topics such as race, pandemic schooling, balancing work and play, etc. http://theparentscoop.net/conversations-about-race
Videos for children: Compiled by the site We Are Teachers these videos on anti-racism will help to explain complex topics to young audiences: https://www.weareteachers.com/anti-racism-videos/
Museum Portal: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has released the “Talking About Race” web portal to help people explore issues of Race, Racism and Racial Identity. The portal provides tools and guidance to inspire conversation. https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
For parents of color, schooling at home can be an act of resistance (Monisha Bajaj): https://theconversation.com/for-parents-of-color-schooling-at-home-can-be-an-act-of-resistance-137691?fbclid=IwAR3wVI6HT_ONV3Hsar8cHJ1kqSJwoFntcP2n_saXoqs7M3dK0GD-u0OEZ3A
Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism: A conversation hosted by PBS KIDS for Parents featuring fellow parents, educators and child development and trauma experts about how you can talk with young children about racial injustice. This show can be viewed on Youtube under the title Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism.
Becoming a Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter (Clint Smith) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/becoming-a-parent-in-the-age-of-black-lives-matter/612448/?fbclid=IwAR2GVcVM1bP7rWR-YA7B90_RFfv0FUTfEBszUAQ9rJ83nhADxb7cCZoViv0
How Kids Learn Prejudice (Katherine D. Kinzler) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/opinion/sunday/how-kids-learn-prejudice.html?fbclid=IwAR0_o1x5AvqeT-0l7N83dEpKLA1S6n8SimgXS_Eq2171Pt-jWfleDLz9pT0
Black Lives Matter is relevant to all communities. South Asians and African Americans have been standing up for each other for over a century. These are the histories we were never taught. This article offers a glimpse into that secret history of solidarity that is not widely known or talked about, by Anirvan Chaterjee. https://blackdesisecrethistory.org/
From Juneteenth to the Tulsa massacre: What isn't taught in classrooms has a profound impact (Daniella Silva) https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/juneteenth-tulsa-massacre-what-isn-t-taught-classrooms-has-profound-n1231442?fbclid=IwAR1Q1kV8_CAhKf5ho8LPvimrRVCWJfYNs7-8Gc6mQJlN4btErjIc9-y3KIA