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resources for talking with kids about race and racism

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we advocate for conversations about race

Adults have a difficult time talking about and confronting racism, so it's no wonder parents, guardians and caregivers often struggle to find the words and approaches to engaging with children and teens around these issues. Talking about race, inclusion, and equity is uncomfortable because of the emotion, trauma, shame, and fear that is involved, but not talking about it causes far more harm.  Not talking about racism is ignoring that there is a problem; it is saying that the oppression and danger our families, friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors and community members experience in their everyday lives is okay.


We advocate that it is vital that conversations about race, inclusion, and equity begin at a very young age.  Simple interactions even starting when our children are babies, demonstrate how we navigate difference in our own lives and can be meaningful in laying the groundwork for raising socially conscious children.  We've collected a wealth of resources to help adults educate themselves about how to engage with young people about race and racism, including antiracism toolkits and books that support conversations about racism, equity and social justice.  


Christian Burno recommends the podcasts "Pod Save the People," "Code Switch," "Still Processing," "1619" and "The Daily" as ways to start learning about race in America.

resources for bbipoc (black, brown, indigenous people of color) and mixed race children and families

'The Talk': Conversations Parents Have To Have With Their Black Kids

Reset with Jenn White - Interview with author Imani Perry about her book, Breathe: A Letter to My Sons and the conversation parents are having with their children about what it means to be Black in America

"Radical self-care is required to live and survive in this world

as a Black person."

Jameta Nicole Barlow

Community health psychologist and assistant professor of writing

at George Washington University

"Racial trauma describes the physical and psychological symptoms that people of color often experience after being exposed to stressful experiences of racism"

Bruce Perry 

Psychiatrist, Child Trauma Academy and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago

"The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love."

You can download these pdf's to save or print!


Young children can use art as a tool of communication before their verbal ability can capture the nuance of their thoughts and imagination.  As they grow into adolescence and beyond, the arts remain a vital method of self-expression and elevation of one's complex understanding and response to their world.

It may be helpful when talking to children of all ages to have a meaningful way to move back and forth between a less verbal way of processing information and discussing race and racism together.  A collaborative art project can be a powerful way to be present with your child and support them in expressing their perspective.


Artist and art therapist, @rainartherapist, collaborated with her daughter to create this piece which communicates pride in the multiple aspects of her racial identity.

Follow this link to our blog to learn more about sign making with kids, and click here for information about antiracism through art.

Why We Need to Talk to Children About Race and Difference |Biz Lindsay-Ryan

resources for white children and families

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race

Life Kit with Michel Martin - Interview with author Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, about how to talk with white kids about racially charged events - and how to keep the conversation going.

Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey

The Integrated Schools Project interviews Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, offering age-appropriate insights for teaching children how to address racism.

Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

A discussion about racial disparities, policy, and equality, and the book "How

to Be an Antiracist," a groundbreaking approach to understanding uprooting racism and inequality in our society and in ourselves.

Raising Anti-Racist White Kids: A Conversation for All of Us | Jennifer Harvey

"White Fragility" and Unconscious Bias

Interview with Robin DiAngelo

For an extensive reading resource for babies, young children, teens, and adults click here.

You'll find tips for picking out books for children, antiracism booklists, and books featuring bbipoc main characters.

links to online resources

We've compiled a list of online resources for recommended reading, book lists, videos, podcasts, blogs, instagrams, etc. that we think might be helpful for parents, educators, mental health professionals, and community workers working with young people.

Beyond the Golden Rule Book:Toolkit Imag

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice

This book is a great toolkit for parents, guardians and caregivers who are looking for guidance in talking to kids about tolerance and prejudice.  Psychologists, educators and parenting experts offer practical, age-appropriate advice to help integrate learning into day-to-day activities.  There are 3 sections dedicated to preschool years (ages 2-5), school-age years (ages 6-12), and teenage years (ages 13-17).  There is also a section that offers guidance for reflecting upon your own biases, and how those biases affect your parenting and caregiving.

click here for a pdf of the full text


Rochester Racial Justice Toolkit

This virtual toolkit is a compilation of articles, guides, news, videos, social media, and other tools from several online sources on racial justice and Black Lives Matter activism.  The entire website has a wealth of information including definitions of terms, guides for allyship, and tools for activist work.  The page dedicated to youth and child resources including articles on how to talk to kids about racism, racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

click here for full toolkit

click here for youth resource page

terms and definitions

The Empathy Alphabet

The Language of Antiracism

Racial Equity Resource Guide: Glossary


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms

videos for young kids
CNN Sesame Street Town Hall - Standing Up to Racism
Sesame Street Explains Black Lives Matter
Something Happened in Our Town (read aloud)
Not My Idea - A Book About Whiteness (read aloud)
Systemic Racism Explained
Marley Dias Talks Institutional Racism
blogs and podcasts for adults and teens
Parenting for Social Justice Blog

click here for blog

Talking Race with Young Children

click here for podcast

Politically Re-Active - A Humorous Political and Social Justice Podcast for Teens

click here for podcast

Reappropriate - A Blog that Advocates for Racial and Gender Equality, Especially Focused on Asian American Feminism
Screenshot of ScreenFloat (6-9-20, 9-26-

click here for blog

16 Thought-Provoking Social Justice Blogs On Tumblr for Adults and Young Adults

click here for blog list

Code Switch - A Podcast with Fearless Conversations About Race Hosted by Journalists of Color
Screenshot of ScreenFloat (6-7-20, 12-29

click here for podcast

Bound for Justice - A Weekly Book Talk Podcast that Explores Race, Reconciliation, and Social Justice
Screenshot of ScreenFloat (6-7-20, 3-14-

click here for podcast

Our Voice - A Podcast With Candid Discussion About Issues Black People Face and the Contributions Black People Make to Society
Screenshot of ScreenFloat (6-7-20, 3-26-

click here for podcast

follow these instagrams!
videos for teens and adults
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race | Jay Smooth
Let's Get to the Root of Racial Injustice | Megan Ming Francis
An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter | Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi

Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk? | Beverly Daniel Tatum

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