Educating and speaking with children about racism

Image of diverse interlocking arms - anti-racism icon.

Our team at SRI Education is deeply heartbroken and outraged by the racism, brutality, and hatred that Black children, families, and individuals face, not only with regard to recent events, but with recognition that these are pervasive issues they face in every moment of their lives. Consistent with our mission statement, we continue to strive to think about how we can conduct research, use data, and develop tools in meaningful ways that will reduce barriers and promote equity for students across our nation who continue to experience these longstanding injustices.

We realize that these issues are deeply engrained in our history and manifest in every facet of society. Widespread systemic changes must happen and there is no one easy solution. As one part of that equation, we can start with education by supporting adults to teach and talk about these issues with children. While speaking with children about racial injustice may not be easy or comfortable, we believe that we must have these difficult conversations to start educating early, encourage active engagement, and promote change starting with our youngest generations.

Below are some resources to help start and navigate these discussions, as well as take care of yourself along the way.

Individual acts of racism, as well as the widespread systems and history of perpetuating hatred and injustices, negatively impact the mental health and well-being of children, youth, and adults in schools. By engaging in these discussions with students openly and early on, we hope that we can increase awareness, promote healing, and encourage activism for all.

For families with internet and device access, please see the recording of the 60-minute town hall hosted by CNN and Sesame Street to address racism (originally aired on June 6, 2020).

Topics: Educator professional development and support Family engagement Mental health Partnerships and family engagement Resource Social–emotional and behavioral challenges Trauma

Tags: Antiracism Black Lives Matter Equity Racism