Written by Anna Massey-Jackson
My heart is heavy as I write this piece, so I cannot fathom what children may be thinking or how they are feeling. It can be very difficult to unpack racial injustices with them. We don’t want children to leave these conversations feeling sad or unsafe. However, recent events justify a need to have these courageous and open dialogues with them. In my role as a teacher leader at my school, I developed a curriculum that was grounded in having these conversations with students through exploring culturally relevant texts. Below, you will see some texts that I have used to support my students of color in taking pride in who they are, and to cultivate a classroom environment that is culturally inclusive, respectful, and joyful for all students. Please see the links below for additional information about exploring this topic with children. Let’s combat racism through our activism, advocacy, and the knowledge we instill in our children to support their development in becoming bright, loving, and powerful human beings. Let’s give them the skills they need to recognize, fight, and overcome social and racial injustices.
Information on the BLM Movement: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/summer-2017/why-teaching-black-lives-matter-matters-part-i
Discussing Police Brutality and Protests: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/31/how-talk-kids-racism-racial-violence-police-brutality/5288065002/
Discussing Race and Ethnicity: https://www.tolerance.org/topics/race-ethnicity
Explaining Systematic Racism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ
Kids on Race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6xSyRJqIe8