Like many over the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of listening and learning. Topics like race, racism, and diversity are fraught with complexity and mired in decades and decades of our society not getting it right. I’ve been hesitant to wade into this territory as a professional because I continue to see my need to grow and learn, so that I can support and advocate for my patients and their families.
Yet, my role as a parent is first and foremost in my mind because having conversations with my kids about race, racism, and diversity is my obligation. If I don’t have these conversations with them, who will? Not having a conversation about race and racism means that I’m not taking the most basic steps to push for change in our society.
And it needs to be conversations plural, not conversation singular. Just chatting once about systemic racism, hatred, and our fear of the other isn’t sufficient to transmit the values of equality, freedom, and respect for our fellow human beings that I hold dear.
As I continue to talk to my kids, I wanted to share some of the resources that I’ve looked at to help me talk with them, not just about the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, but about the systemic racism present in America.
This list isn’t exhaustive but represents resources that I have found helpful or that others have shared with me as being helpful. Please drop additional resources in the comments and I’ll add it.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Race, Racism and Police Violence (WBUR)
- EmbraceRace Facebook page
- Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events (Anti-Defamation League)
- Talking About Race (National Museum of African American History and Culture)
- Use Sports to Talk to Your Kids about Social Justice (Lifehacker)
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Race (A Fine Parent)
- Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests (Dr. Laura Markham)
- You Asked, I Answered: 7 Difficult Questions About Racism (Scary Mommy)
- What Is White Privilege (Teaching Tolerance)
- Being 12: Conversations about Race and Racism by Middle Schoolers (WNYC)
- Anti-Racism for Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race (BooksforLittles.org)
- How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help(Brightly)
- Books Matter: Resources on Race and Racism (Anti-Defamation League)
- 7 Books About Race to Read to Your Kids (New York Magazine)