Talking to Kids About Race
Talking to kids about race can be a hard for some families. Here are some resources and tips to guide and support you. Reading books with your child is a great way to start the conversation about race, injustice, tolerance and diversity. Building our own self-awareness, knowledge, understanding the perspective of Blacks in the US, being curious and open to learning is crucial reducing our own biases, prejudices and racist behavior. Ignoring racism and injustice in the US and avoiding conversations with children about race will not solve the problems that our country is facing.
Kids have the capacity to notice race from a very early age—infants will stare longer at faces of people from races they are unfamiliar with, which tells us they notice difference. Yet difference is a long shot from racism. An awareness of stereotypes and racism doesn't begin to happen until about age 6 (McKown and Weinstein, 2003).
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This is a day our black community has traditionally celebrated and recognized, but is a day that is relatively unknown, talked about, or celebrated by others. As a school district, we would like to take a small step of hope and solidarity by recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth. We will use this day as a day of reflection and engagement by offering resources, documentaries, and providing space to talk not only about this important day, but also about racism and injustice. We are a district that is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and we know our commitment is only as good as our actions. We hope as a community you will join us in this reflection and engagement. We have provided resources below or feel free to use what you see as the best fit for your family.
"Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal."- Abraham Lincoln, (July 10, 1858)
Suggestions for Juneteenth Awareness and Reflection activities for teachers or families
- Developing Racial Awareness for Educators
- Start the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge
- Being Antiracist - National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Take the Implicit Bias Test
- Watch a movie, hear a podcast or read a book listed on ISD Website resources Talking to kids about race
What is Juneteenth? The celebration of the last enslaved people receiving word of their freedom.
Resources broken down by specific grade level
more to come soon.