On Wednesday October 21st, Sachi Feris of the blog Raising Race Conscious Children will lead a workshop to help parents and caregivers learn how to talk about race with young children. Each week until the workshop, I’ll share an article or resource to help you begin thinking about some related topics.
For our final recommended reading piece, let’s check out a post from Sachi’s own blog: “100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Racial Justice.” As you may infer from the title, this post covers a lot of ground. It is formatted as a list of quotations, each one linking to the full blog post from which the quote is taken.
The list covers topics for discussion with kids of all ages. Not all quotes from this list will be appropriate for every child or every situation, but the list is so wide-ranging that you’re sure to pick up some useful tips or consider a new perspective. Topics include: activism, colonization, slavery, redlining, homelessness, friendship, describing skin color, different types of families, police violence, and gender equality. My personal favorite appears in numbers 89 and 90: how to respond to your child’s comments in public.
Personally, I tend to struggle with using too-complex words when speaking to very young children. I once visited my son’s preschool class to talk about my work as a librarian. When a child asked why he has to be quiet at the library, I responded that sometimes noise can be distracting for people who are trying to concentrate on a task. Then the child asked me to explain what I meant by “distracting,” “concentrate,” and “task.” Definitely a teachable moment for me. It’s even more challenging to speak at a child’s level when discussing such serious and complex topics. So, I really appreciated these very concrete examples of approachable words and phrases to use in such situations.
The Race Consciousness Workshop is next week, Wednesday October 21st at 6:30 p.m. Have you registered yet? What outcomes are you hoping to gain from participating in the workshop? Feel free to consider this question on your own, or share in the comments section below. I am so excited that this event is finally happening, and I hope to see you there!
The workshop is supported by the White Plains Library Foundation.