Conversations About Race and Systemic Injustice

June 2, 2020



It saddens my heart to have to write this blog and curate resources in response to another murder of a Black person due to white supremacy and police brutality. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others sorrowfully remind us of our responsibility as educators to teach our youth about race and systemic injustice. Now more than ever it is time to have uncomfortable conversations and hold each other accountable to foster environments of safety and inclusion for all our students.

Teaching Matters is committed to equity in education, and we have put together this list of resources for teachers and parents to support you as you have these critical conversations with your students.

The following are Hubs of Resources that provide a variety of information from Ways to Help: Black Lives Matter to specific information for parents: Your kids aren't too young to talk about race. The Smithsonian: National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking About Race has resources for parents, educators and those who are committed to equity. The self check-in is particularly helpful to get started. It is imperative that we acknowledge and understand the effect implicit bias has on students.

These individual articles can help you shape the conversation and address ways educators are having conversations about race.

We know racism, police brutality and systemic injustice are highly sensitive and necessary subjects to lesson plan for, so below are resources to help.

Our educational consultants shared a compiled list of books for students, but please note: There are many books that directly address civil rights, the history of racism and heroes who have fought racial injustice. These books are really important and there are good ones out there that should definitely be in your library.

This list is different. Children’s books, the everyday fiction books that pack most bookshelves, predominantly feature white characters. This is a list of great fiction, everyday fiction, that feature characters of color. This list aims to name books that celebrate diversity in everyday life and do not introduce characters of color in traumatic circumstances. Elementary Book List Featuring Characters of Color

In addition to the list above, The Conscious Kid has published a list of 41 Children's Books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance that can be found here.

Dr. Sharroky Hollie’s website Responsive Reads shines a light on culturally authentic texts by and about diverse cultures.

If you are looking for a book to teach tolerance to multiple ages, Beyond the Golden Rule is a book that has three age-specific sections featuring everyday parents sharing personal stories about the challenges and rewards of raising children in today’s diverse world. Psychologists, educators and parenting experts offer practical, age-appropriate advice to help you integrate lessons of respect and tolerance in day-to-day activities. And a final section offers guidance for reflecting upon your own biases, and how those biases affect your parenting.

We see you, we hear you, we support you, and we stand with you.

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