Talking About Race and Racism with Children

Below is a list of resources I shared with my congregation. I am a white woman serving a predominantly white church. The featured image is from the Children’s Community School. I urge you to think of this list as a starting place. All of us must commit to educating ourselves, listening to people of color, and taking action everyday to resist the sin and evil of racism.

Several parents have asked how to talk to children about the protests and the death of George Floyd. In the list below, we offer videos, articles, and books that might be a starting place. We have intentionally tried to include as many resources created by persons of color as possible.

Admittedly, this list is imperfect. Conversations about race are often difficult and never perfect. However, informed by our faith, we must commit to trying, not only for the children entrusted to us as parents but for all God’s children.

 A prayer from Marian Wright Edelman’s book, I Am Your Child God:

I pray for peace in myself, in my family, in my community, in my country, and in all the world. I pray that no one will hate, that no one will kill, that all will forgive and live in love.

To begin the conversation:

God’s Dream, a picture book by Desmond Tutu -a South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist.

A Kid’s Book About Racism by Jelani Memory,  Co-Founder and CEO at A Kids Book About and Co-Founder at Circle and Narrative

Tips for talking to Children About Race and Racism – Erin Winkler, Associate professor of Africology and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

This article above was brought to my attention by Wendy Claire Barrie. See this link on her website for her updated resource list. It is excellent.

To continue to the conversation in the months and years ahead: 

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey, a minister and professor of religion at Drake University. This 20-minute video and article offer a glimpse of her book.

Talking About Race and Racism by Ijeoma Oluo, author of the New York Times bestseller, So You Want to Talk About Race. Additional article & Video.

Children and the News:

Lest we forget: Children are Watching by Nia Heard-Garris, a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital and instructor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine

Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events from The American Academy of Pediatrics

You might also be interested in:

When the news is too big for young people

How to #standwiththekids

Talking with Middle School Kids about our Baptismal Promise to Resist Evil

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