It is crucial to begin anti-bias and multicultural education early on (at a developmentally appropriate level!) in order to build childrens’ social-emotional capacity, their empathy, and their ability to speak about and respond to inequity, injustice, and violence when they experience it directly or indirectly. Involving children in these conversations cultivates their ability to think critically and independently and empowers them to take action when they recognize injustice in the world around them.
Below are some resources to begin these conversations.
- EmbraceRace: a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.
- How to Talk to Kids about Racism Age by Age Guide
- Talking Race with young children (NPR)
- Your Kids aren’t too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup
- How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources that Can Help
- How Young Children Learn Race
- Raising Race Conscious Children
- Advancing Equity Initiative (NAEYC)
- Why Colorblindness is Bad for Everyone (Washington Post)
- Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families
- 31 Childrens Books that Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
Children’s Books (not all of the books below are explicitly about race, but the majority tackle inclusion, empathy, and multiculturalism both directly and indirectly):
*Reading critically with your child involves slowing down and taking the time to help them reflect on what you’ve just read. Depending on the book, discussions may involve talking about what a character’s actions tell us about their personality, how the story makes you feel, or how the book’s setting is important to the overall message. It might mean helping your child recognize something about the plot and the conflict that exists and reflect on what different characters might be feeling. It also means asking more open-ended questions to which there can be multiple correct answers. Move through the book slowly, look at the pictures, and stop to notice and wonder out loud.
- Virtual reading room for children from Black Lives Matter: You choose the book and the author reads the story.
- All are Welcome
- Alma and How She Got Her Name
- Be Kind
- The Big Umbrella
- The Day You Begin
- Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
- Here We Are
- Hey Wall
- I am Enough
- I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
- Julian is a Mermaid
- Lubna and Pebble
- Last Stop on Market Street
- Leila in Saffron
- Lila and the Crow
- Mela and the Elephant
- My Hair is a Garden
- The Name Jar
- The Oldest Student
- Outside my Window
- Strictly No Elephants
- The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
- Thank You, Omu!
- Where are you from?
- The Word Collector
Document compiled by Nika Greenberg, May 2020.
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