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17 Resources to Help Parents Raise Anti-Racist Kids

by Nina Stoller-Lindsey

As parents, it is our responsibility to raise kids who are prepared to fight for racial justice. It is a daunting task and we all need to find the resources to help us do it right. 

One resource we know and love, Embrace Race, is a nonprofit that delivers on its promise to help all parents raise kids who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race. Our Co-Founders Meghan and Brian Fitzgerald have relied on their incredible resources, both in their work at Tinkergarten and in their parenting of three young children.

When we we shared a link to Embrace Race earlier this week, we also asked for our community to share any resources they have found helpful in their own quest to raise anti-racist children. The Tinkergarten community came through with events, talks, books, websites and experts. Here they are, collected and vetted by our Learning team.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s a start. Please feel free to comment with any additional resources we should consider. Thank you all for joining us in this essential work.

Events for Families

Black Birders Week: May 31-June 5

In response to a White dogowner Amy Cooper calling the police on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper, a group of more than 30 Black birders, scientists and naturalists launched this event to encourage birding among more people of color and help create a safe space for them to do it. In the words of co-founder Corina Newsome, "Help us to show the world, especially the next generation of young Black birders and nature enthusiasts, that we exist, that they are welcome and that this space belongs to them too." You can participate by following and using the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and join in daily events listed here.

#Kidlit Rally for Black Lives: June 4 at 7 p.m. ET

Join more than 25 children's book authors, artists and publishers for this livestream event hosted by authors Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson and Jason Reynolds. "The rally is a way for families, educators, librarians, and members of the children's book community to come together in support of Black lives, speak to children about this moment, answer their questions and offer ideas about steps we can all take going forward," the authors said in a statement. They invite K-12 students to join from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET with a followup session for parents and educators from 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET.

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, by CNN and Sesame Street: June 6 at 10 a.m. ET

This 60-minute special, moderated by Big Bird, CNN commentator Van Jones and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill, will kick off a conversation with kids about racism and the nationwide protests. Viewers will learn ways to develop empathy and embrace diversity. You can watch it on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español, or live stream it (no cable login needed) on CNN.com’s homepage or via CNN’s apps.

Talks for Parents

Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News by Child Mind Institute

This recorded Facebook Live event brings together two experts from the Child Mind Institute, an independent national nonprofit that aims to improve the lives of children and families facing mental health and learning disorders. Kenya Hameed, PsyD is a Black clinical neuropsychologist at the Institute’s Learning and Development Center. Jamie Howard, PhD is a White clinical psychologist who leads the Trauma and Resilience Service. Together they discuss supporting children through this difficult time. Find some of their strategies outlined here

“I [STILL] can’t breathe”: Supporting kids of color amid racialized violence by Embrace Race 

Embrace Race, a nonprofit that aims to nurture resilience in children of color while helping all families understand racial inequity and fight for racial justice, will host this discussion for parents of children of color. The goal is to answer the question: What conversations about policing, violence, safety, justice and race should we be having with our children? Register here to join on June 5 at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET. 

"How do I make sure I'm not raising the next Amy Cooper?" by Embrace Race

Embrace Race recently hosted this conversation in response to the racist encounter between White dog owner Amy Cooper and Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper. 

For this talk, founders Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud joined Dr. Jennifer Harvey, an expert on White anti-racism and the author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, to discuss “what the parents of White children, in particular, can do to ensure they're not raising White children who are quick to call the police on Black and Indigenous people and people of color.” You can find additional webinars, articles and action guides from Embrace Race here.

Books

A Kids’ Book About Racism

Author Jelani Memory, a Black entrepreneur and father of six, describes his book as “a clear explanation of what racism is and how to know when you see it.” It’s intended as an introduction for kids to the topic of racism and aims to help them understand how people feel when they experience it. It is so popular, that it’s currently on backorder.

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness

Feminist publisher Dottir Press is offering free PDF downloads of this children’s book about a White child’s response to a news report of a White police offer fatally shooting a nonviolent brown person. Written by Anastasia Higginbotham, a journalist with a focus on social justice and the creator of the Ordinary Terrible Things children’s book series, the book aims to help White children and their families learn about White supremacy in order to help dismantle it.

Anti-Racist Baby

This new board book by Ibram X. Kendi, a leading scholar on race and discriminatory policy, proves it’s never too early to start these critical conversations and helps give parents the language to do so. Bolstered by Ashley Lukashevsky’s delightful illustrations, the book outlines “nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.” You can preorder it for its June 16 release and, in the meantime, adults can read Kendi’s New York Times Bestseller How to Be an Anti-Racist.

Websites and Other Digital Resources

The Conscious Kid

The Conscious Kid was founded by parents of color to support “Parenting and Education through a Critical Race Lens.” On their Instagram, which just hit 1 million followers, you’ll find book recommendations and succinct conversations on important topics related to racial justice. Or subscribe to their community via Patreon (membership levels range from $1 to $100 per month) to receive additional resources. If you’re able, you can also assist in their effort to provide rent relief to Black families affected by COVID-19.

Raising Equity

Dr. Kira Banks, a Black psychologist, professor, and mother of two, created this YouTube channel to help adults help children better navigate racism and other social issues in order to create a more equitable world. She is in the process of hosting “How to Talk To Kids About Racism,” a two part discussion with other diversity experts who share knowledge from their careers as well as personal stories as parents. You can watch the first episode here, while the second airs Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. ET.

Raising Race Conscious Children

Founded by Sachi Feris, an educator with a focus on social justice, Raising Race Conscious Children supports adults in talking about race with young children with the goal of preparing them to work toward racial justice. Feris contributes regular blog posts, hosts workshops and webinars, offers individual consultations, and has created a digital community where adults can share their own conversations about race with children. Though Feris is White and her blog posts are geared toward helping a White audience address these issues, she routinely invites bloggers of diverse backgrounds to create content for the platform.

Anti-Racism Resources for White People

This comprehensive Google Doc has gone viral since it was published in late May by writer-activists Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein. It begins with a section titled “Resources for White parents to raise anti-racist children” outlining recommended books, articles, and podcasts and Instagram accounts. 

Reading While White

Founded by a group of White librarians vowing to confront racism and advocate for diversity and inclusion in children’s and teen literature, this blog is also a great resource for parents. In addition to timely blog posts on topics like White erasure of BIPOC work, the Reading While White directs readers to “kindred spirit” sites like The Brown Bookshelf, outlines other resources, including institutions, books, articles and videos and provides a glossary of key terms like “ally” and “cultural appropriation.”

Experts and Influencers

Britt Hawthorne

Though Hawthorne’s anti-bias and anti-racism work is focused on workshops for educators, you can follow her on Instagram or Facebook to learn from her perspective as a second-generation teacher and get tips on anti-racist parenting, as well as book recommendations for both kids and adults. You can also receive additional resources by joining her online community of anti-racist educators via Patreon (membership levels range from $5 to $25 per month).

Teach and Transform

Born in South Korea and raised in Washington, DC, founder Liz Kleinrock is an anti-bias educator and consultant who draws on her experience as a transracial adoptee. In addition to her training services, she provides reading lists for both kids and adults, writes articles for Teaching Tolerance, and maintains an active Instagram presence where she offers additional tips and updates. You can get access to her monthly newsletters, lesson plan, and more by joining her Patreon (membership levels start at $5 per month).

Apron Education and Read Like a Rockstar

LaNesha Tabb and Naomi O’Brien, two Black mothers and educators, have collaborated to create A White Family’s Guide For Talking About Racism and The POC Family’s Guide For Talking About Racism. You can also follow their Instagram accounts for ongoing discussion of racial justice issues and children’s book recommendations.

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