We are heartbroken and saddened by the events of racism and violence in our nation and our community. Our work across the Marion and Polk region is focused on supporting young children, particularly in those families furthest from opportunity, to ensure that they have the enriching early experiences they need to thrive. We are committed to working with partners to help remove disparities and lift systemic barriers to access.
A part of that work is leaning into conversations and being willing to listen–really listen. These are difficult topics and conversations to have. It is important that we all take part in these conversations, and starting at home with our children is key to changing our nation’s future. There are many children’s books that can help us to have these conversations. Included below are links with suggestions on how to talk with children about racial differences and discrimination.
We will continue to work with the community to bring forward opportunities and resources for children and families with a focus on diversity and equity. Together, we can ensure a more just and compassionate world.
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race. TEDx talk by Beverly Daniel Tatum.
- Zero to Three- Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five. This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children aged two to five years of age.
- Pretty Good- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race.
- Raising Race Conscious Children A Resource for Talking about Race & Diversity with Young Children – to support parents who are trying to talk about race and diversity with young children- with the goal of preparing young people to work toward racial justice
- HealthyChildren.org Talking to Children about Racial Bias. Parents may better face today’s challenges with an understanding of how racial bias works in children as well as strategies to help them deal with and react to racial differences.
- Purchase a book or two from this list of 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance from Embrace Race.
- Babies begin to notice race at 6 months old- in fact, according to this pair of studies by Professor Kang Lee at the University of Toronto, they actually show signs of racial bias by this age.
- One in 10 children is multicultural- according to Pew Research Center. This includes children with parents of two different races, plus those with at least one multiracial parent.
- Watch the “I Love My Hair!” video from Sesame Street
- Thanks to Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton. Derrick Gay and Jinnie Spiegler of the Anti-Defamation League, which has a wide range of resources for anti-bias education.
Lisa Harnisch | Executive Director
Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub, Inc.
2995 Ryan Drive SE, Suite 100 | Salem, Oregon | 97301
P: 503.967.1185 | C: 503.910.9296