Family Resources Centering Race, Justice and Equity

“The Children’s School was founded to defy segregation and separation between people,” Head of School Nishant Mehta wrote. “The Wolf Pack knows that we rise and fall together, and we live and breathe together, too. We cannot ignore that we are vulnerable as an entire community and country as long as there are those who feel vulnerable among us. Our strength is not based on any one, it’s dependent on the strength of every one.

We have a choice, again, to be the country of King and Lewis. We can be the heart of Angelou and Lorde. For as long as we draw breath, the Wolf Pack will speak up for those who can’t breathe.”

Below, you’ll find resources for families who want to have conversations about race, systemic issues around justice, and equity at home. We hope these resources help you navigate conversations about race, justice, and equity with your family. 

The list we’ve provided is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the countless books, media, and educational websites centering social justice, and we encourage you to share any resources you find with families and friends, too. 

BOOKS

For Adults

For Kids

Lower School (Early Learning – Grade 3)

Upper School (Grades 4 – 8)

Note: The list below offers a range of text that each family needs to consider based on their child’s readiness. 

After reading books about racism, families can continue the conversation by asking the following questions or prompts adapted from Common Sense Media. (Parents can use this article  to decide what conversations their children are ready for, starting with the concept of fairness for younger children and adding on for older children.)

  • Families can talk about the role race plays in people’s lives. 
  • Families can discuss what it means to say “everyone is equal.”
  • Families can talk about slavery in America, the underground railroad, and the amazing things people did, both to escape unhappy, horrible circumstances as well as to help others escape. 
  • Families can talk about coping with terrible events. 
  • Has a family member or friend ever helped you work through painful emotions?
  • Families can talk about the way incidents of police brutality are portrayed in the media. Some books show a clear case of right and wrong; however, some book characters still seem unwilling or unable to see past bias. How do you see that same circumstance played out in the media?
  • Families also can talk about the “talks” your parents give you about safety and about how to conduct yourself when you’re on your own . What is different between your family’s talks and talks that might be happening in other families? How does that affect the messages you receive about interactions on the street?
  • Families can talk about racism in the past and now. What has changed? What challenges still remain?
  • Families can talk about the racial prejudice shown in the book. Where does it come from? Where does it lead? And how can we get past it? How do other stories you know on this theme deal with the issue?
  • Have you ever felt like an outsider or like you didn’t fit in? What was the situation?
  • Discuss any violence in the story? Did you know things like lynchings and mob violence went on?
  • Families can talk about activism and teens. Often adults tell kids to wait until they’re older to get involved in politics, protests, and the like. Give three examples of what kids can do to be active in their communities when they feel passionately about a cause and how adults can help rather than hold back.
  • If you had the opportunity to give advice and support to others, what would you want to tell them? Can you write a letter or poem or story that might help or inspire others?
  • What is something you, or our family, can do to stand up against racism and prejudice in our community?

 

OTHER RESOURCES

Articles & Downloadables

Podcasts

For Adults

For Kids

Websites

 

COUNSELING SUPPORT

Parents who need additional support or guidance with supporting their children and navigating conversations about race, justice, and equity can reach out to School Counselor Dr. Natalie Grubbs (natalieg@tcsatl.org) and/or Lower School Director of Student Life & Inclusion Morgan Darby (morgand@tcsatl.org). 

Learn more about our community

 

DEFINITIONS

As you read resources found here and on other platforms, you may see the following terms. 

Anti-Bias Education 

  • At TCS our anti-bias education program is based on Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards four goals for anti-bias, whose research can be found in Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves (2nd Edition, 2020)
  • Four core goals provide a framework for the practice of anti-bias education with children. Grounded in what we know about how children construct identity and attitudes, the goals help you create a safe, supportive learning community for every child. They support children’s development of a confident sense of identity without needing to feel superior to others; an ease with human diversity; a sense of fairness and justice; the skills of empowerment; and the ability to stand up for themselves or for others. (REF: The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Teaching Tolerance | Diversity, Equity And Justice)
    • Goal 1: Identity
      • Teachers will nurture each child’s construction of knowledgeable, confident, individual personal and social identities.
      • Children will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
    • Goal 2: Diversity
      •  Teachers will promote each child’s comfortable, empathetic interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.
      •  Children will express comfort and joy with human diversity, use accurate language for human differences, and form deep, caring connections across all dimensions of human diversity.
    • Goal 3: Justice
      • Teachers will foster each child’s capacity to critically identify bias and will nurture each child’s empathy for the hurt bias causes.
      • Children will increasingly recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
    • Goal 4: Activism 
      • Teachers will cultivate each child’s ability and confidence to stand up for oneself and for others in the face of bias.
      • Children will demonstrate a sense of empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
  • “Instilling in children love and respect for others that is stronger than hate and prejudice.” (First Grade Team May 2016) — REF: Coloring Outside the Box: An Anti-Bias Approach for Young Children – The Children’s School

Anti-racism

  • Being antiracist is fighting against racism. 
  • Racism takes several forms and works most often in tandem with at least one other form to reinforce racist ideas, behavior, and policy. Types of racism are:
    • Individual racism​ refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism in conscious and unconscious ways. The U.S. cultural narrative about racism typically focuses on individual racism and fails to recognize systemic racism. 
      • Examples include believing in the superiority of white people, not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right,” or telling a racist joke.
    • Interpersonal racism​ occurs between individuals. These are public expressions of racism, often involving slurs, biases, or hateful words or actions.
    • Institutional racism​ occurs in an organization. These are discriminatory treatments, unfair policies, or biased practices based on race that result in inequitable outcomes for whites over people of color and extend considerably beyond prejudice. These institutional policies often never mention any racial group, but the intent is to create advantages.
      • Example: A school system where students of color are more frequently distributed into the most crowded classrooms and underfunded schools and out of the higher-resourced schools.
    • Structural racism​ is the overarching system of racial bias across institutions and society. These systems give privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color.
      • Example: Stereotypes of people of color as criminals in mainstream movies and media.
  • REF: Being Antiracist

Anti-Black Racism

  • What many people don’t realize is that anti-Blackness is the root of most oppression and racism in the United States.
    • Even for non-Black people with dark skin, such as Indians and Filipinos, some of the racism they experience is rooted in anti-Blackness. There’s also colorism, a type of discrimination in which lighter skin is privileged over darker skin, that exists among people of the same race or ethnicity. Non-Black communities have negative stereotypes about Black people, and these communities will distance themselves in order to maintain some level of power.
  • REF:  Let’s Talk About Anti-Blackness – Yes! Magazine