5 Resources for Talking to Kids About Race

The recent Black Lives Matter protests around the globe offer the perfect opportunity to talk to kids about race and racism. These resources can help start that conversation.

Hands on top of one another

Kids watching the news or feeling the stress and uncertainty in parents might not understand why adults are anxious. It’s never too early to talk to kids about race, but parents aren’t always sure what to say. These sources help parents start to talk to kids of all ages about tolerance, race and equality.

1. Tolerance.org

A site dedicated to teaching teachers helps with webinars, articles and tools to give parents resources to start conversations with their children.

  • Teaching about police violence (good resources for grades 6 and older)
  • The Let’s Talk series contains webinars to give guidance for conversations about Black Lives Matter, Whiteness and Gender Issues
  • Discussing Abuse of Power using teachers as examples of bullying behavior
  • Five tips for helping preschoolers understand tolerance

2. Child Development Institute

The site rounds up stories from psychologists and psychiatrists to help parents learn about parenting. Teaching tolerance reminds parents:

  • Kids copy our actions and words
  • To answer questions honestly using words and descriptions appropriate to age level
  • Choose media that properly expresses your values
  • Treat children with respect and model your respect to others
  • Learn about other cultures and traditions

3. The Conscious Kid

View this post on Instagram

🚨It's never too early to talk about race.🚨 "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, when adults are silent about race or use "colorblind" rhetoric, they actually reinforce racial prejudice in children. Starting at a very young age, children see patterns — who seems to live where; what kinds of homes they see as they ride or walk through different neighborhoods; who is the most desirable character in the movies they watch; who seems to have particular jobs or roles at the doctor's office, at school, at the grocery store; and so on — and try to assign "rules" to explain what they see. Adults' silence about these patterns and the structural racism that causes them, combined with the false but ubiquitous "American Dream" narrative that everyone can achieve anything that they want through hard work, results in children concluding that the patterns they see "must have been caused by meaningful inherent differences between groups." In other words, young children infer that the racial inequities they see are natural and justified. So despite good intentions, when we fail to talk openly with our children about racial inequity in our society, we are in fact contributing to the development of their racial biases, which studies show are already in place.” (Dr. Erin Winkler, 2017) Images by @pretty_good_design, adapted from work by the Children’s Community School. #Parenting #RacialBias #TeachersOfInstagram #AntiRacist

A post shared by The Conscious Kid (@theconsciouskid) on

Created and run by parents of color, the space is an educational non-profit to help parents understand and navigate the dilemmas of race, equity and education. There is a membership cost to join the community, or follow The Conscious Kid on Instagram.

4. Scholastic Books

Scholastic helps parents teach and understand tolerance with younger children (preschool and kindergarten) by telling stories and helping kids role play. The publisher also recommends using things you know your kids already love – books, music, dolls and blocks –to introduce other cultures and experiences.

- Advertisement -

5. Oh Happy Dani

Artist Danielle Coke doodles acceptance art that helps lead conversations. Find and purchase her art hereor follow her on Instagram.