Talking About Race and Racism with Kids

Today’s headlines and the Black Lives Matter movement make it clear: It’s more important now than ever to have healthy, ongoing conversations with our children about race and racism in our country. 

But having that conversation isn’t always the easiest to have. Where do you start, how can you explain such a serious topic to young kids in a way that they’ll understand and how do you raise your kids to do better than the generations that came before them? That’s the inspiration behind this Talking About Race Guide. 

Here, we offer you some resources, tips and information to help you get these important conversations going so that your child grows up to be someone who both loves others (regardless of the color of their skin or their country of origin) and actively fights against racism.

Plus, we dive into some perspectives from local BIPOC parents, explore the Black Lives Matter movement in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor and offer ways to help support people of color in your communities. ✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿

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RACE RESOURCES AND TIPS

Race and racism are tough topics for some adults to understand, so how is a parent supposed to have a meaningful conversation that a 5-year-old can grasp? 

In this section, we offer kid-friendly books, movies, events and other tips to help you get the conversation started.

You’ll even find some ways to break through racial, ethnic and religious barriers, how to take your kids along to a protest, how to start a diversity program at your child’s school and much more.

Celebrating Juneteenth With Kids

Juneteenth — aka Freedom Day — falls on June 19 and celebrates the abolition of slavery in America. Here are some ways you can celebrate Juneteenth with kids.

Children’s Books to Celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Here are some great picture books that celebrate the holiday and Muslim diversity.

30 AAPI Books for Kids of All Ages

Introduce your kids to the Asian American Pacific Island cultures with books right at their reading level.

Black History Month Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Bring the whole family to learn about African-American art, history and culture at one of these Black History Month events in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

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FAMILY PERSPECTIVES

Raising children of color in America comes with a set of challenges that white parents don’t have to face — and that makes it important to listen to the voices of parents of color.

Here, local moms and dads of color sound off about their experiences raising their kids in southeast Michigan.

Take a look inside the reality of being a Black mom, find out how representation in children’s toys and media has an effect on kids and get a look at growing up Muslim in America.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer.

Today, BLM has become an international movement dedicated to ending white supremacy and systemic racism. In Southeast Michigan, families have rallied behind this cause by attending local protests and teaching their kids more about the movement. 

You can find more information on explaining Black Lives Matter to kids and get details on why BLM has inspired so many local families here.

Why Parents Took Their Kids to Black Lives Matter Protests

Protests are important catalysts for change and can also serve as a learning experience for kids. We caught up with two moms who took their kids to BLM protests to find out why.

Tips to Explaining Black Lives Matter to Kids with Disabilities

Everyone needs to talk about the racism and inequality that has plagued our nation. Here are some tips on explaining Black Lives Matter to kids with disabilities.

A Parent’s Guide to Black Lives Matter

Are you struggling to find the words to explain the Black Lives Matter movement to your kids? This handy guide to Black Lives Matter can help.

Teens are Organizing and Leading Black Lives Matter Protests

We spoke with a metro Detroit teen who planned a Black Lives Matter protest about her experience, her passion and how important it is for young people to speak up.

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HOW TO SUPPORT

After talking to your kids about race and racism, you can continue your anti-racism work by teaching your kids to support BIPOC entrepreneurs, creators and communities. Here are some spots in Macomb, Oakland Wayne and Washtenaw counties that are owned by people of color.  We’ve also added some ways to give back to communities on MLK Day (and all year round) and even offer some organizations that are working to create equity every day.

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