“The worst conversation adults can have with kids about race is no conversation at all,” states Jemar Tisby, educator, historian, author, and speaker in a video hosted at The Atlantic. Whereas parents of color do not have the privilege of avoiding these kinds of conversations with their children, white parents often don’t know how to have them. We are living in a time where avoiding the discussion is nearly impossible, and possibly irresponsible. With their access to the internet and various media, our children are exposed to racial content and are already aware of race, class, and gender differences. Many times, children and adolescents drop clues about their questions pertaining to race; sometimes they will ask outright. How parents respond shapes children’s attitudes and understanding of the issue. Below, we share some recommended resources that can assist you in having these important discussions.
- PBS shares tips and resources to help you have a meaningful conversation with children about race, racism, and being anti-racist – https://www.pbs.org/parents/talking-about-racism
- Dr. Howard Stevenson from the University of Pennsylvania gives practical advice and guidance on talking to children after racial incidents in a 2016 interview –
- This website is dedicated to assisting parents and teachers with raising race-consciousness in children – https://www.embracerace.org/
- Common Sense Media is a fantastic parent resource in its own right, and here they have compiled a list of articles and media recommendations to help parents and educators spark discussions about race and racism – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/common-sense-media-resources-about-race-and-racism.
- Philly Psychology is offering 5 free counseling sessions with culturally-competent clinicians to specifically help with vicarious traumatization for people of color. Telehealth appointments are currently available, making it easier than ever to access support. Call (267) 712-9217, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit phillypsychology.com to make an appointment.
- Philly HopeLine is a free helpline sponsored by Uplift Center for Grieving Children and the School District of Philadelphia. It is staffed by Master’s level clinicians from Uplift, with service available in both English and Spanish. Call or Text 833-PHL-HOPE (833-745-4673).
We hope you find these resources helpful as we all work together to make our children’s world more thoughtful, kind, and just.