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Resources for Talking with Young Children About Race

Jun 05, 2020    |   Celebrating DiversityWebinar Recordings

The loss, injustice and tragedy experienced by our country over these last weeks and months have spurred a larger conversation about racism and inequality in the US. At Good2Know Network, we condemn racism in all forms and recognize that education is an important tool for building a foundation of social justice and anti-racism.

In this article, we share resources, ideas, and tips for having conversations about race with young children. These conversations might feel emotional or challenging, but they are also necessary gateways to understanding  and empathy.  By discussing injustices we’ve witnessed or experienced and mistakes we have made,  we can learn from one another and move toward a more equitable future. As parents and childcare providers we can also help empower children to become next-generation change-makers and champions for social justice.

Talking to Children about Race

Talking to children about race can be intimidating for adults. Dr. Erin Winkler is an Associate Professor of Africology and Urban Studies, who has studied the way that children learn about race. Dr. Winkler shares that, “adults often think they should avoid talking with young children about race or racism because doing so would cause them to notice race or make them racist. In fact, the opposite is true.”

She explains that children take in cues from their environment. In early childhood, children notice patterns and are learning to categorize things. They notice differences in skin color, neighborhoods, and communities. For this reason, these conversations are necessary and important. If you are interested in reading more from Dr. Erin Winkler, click here to read her article, Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race.


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