Talking to Children about Race

The last few weeks have been challenging for us all as videos of violence against our Black community members and clear evidence of systemic racism, locally and globally, have flooded all media outlets. CDRCP will continue to take a stand in support of Black communities in Peel and around the globe and we recognize that these recent events have had a traumatic impact on members of our Black community.

As leaders in our sector, CDRCP can create awareness, have conversations, share resources and take a critical look at the representation of Black communities and visible minorities in the work we do.

Change begins with all of us. We must listen, educate and speak up in order to support our next generation as they fight against injustices, bias and inequality.

Steps for Change:

  • Listen – Listen with the intent to understand those around you. Respect those who are speaking up and sharing their personal stories and encounters of anti-black racism. This may be uncomfortable for some; however, it is the first step to understanding the issue at hand.
  • Educate – Do your part to learn about racism within Canada and your community. Bear the responsibility to speak to your children about black history and treating others with respect. Use this as a learning lesson for our children and check in with them to see if they have any questions or thoughts about things seen or heard on the news.
  • Be an Ally – It is good to talk about and appreciate racial differences, but it is not okay to pretend that, bullying or being bullied for them, does not happen. We need to speak up and be an ally in order to help make a difference!

Below, CDRCP has identified some resources to educate children on race, including educational articles for parents, resources for black youth and families and diverse children’s books. Let’s continue to have conversations about social inclusion and how we can affect positive change in the communities in which we live and work.

Resources and Articles for Parents

10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids about Race

By: Embrace Race

  • This resource is designed to help parents of all backgrounds talk to and guide their children on topics related to race.
  • Click to access

Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism

By: PBS Kids (For Parents)

  • Resource includes articles, a recorded virtual event and recommended children’s books.
  • Parents must understand the importance of being honest, specific and trustworthy as they raise the next generation to confront racial injustice.
  • Click here to access

Beyond the Golden Rule, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice        

By: Dana Williams

  • Teach your children to honor the differences in themselves and in others — and to reject prejudice and intolerance.
  • Guide speaks from preschool age groups to teen years.
  • Click here to access

Talking to Kids about Race (National Geographic)

By: Heather Greenwood Davis

  • Not shying away from conversations about race and protests is the first step in raising an anti-racist child.
  • The article offers ways to engage in these conversations with your children, like updating your home library and introducing diversity into your life.
  • Click here to access

Talking to kids about discrimination

By: American Psychological Association

  • When parents avoid talking about differences and discrimination, children learn that the topic is taboo.
  • Discussing differences can help kids appreciate diversity and better recognize discrimination.
  • Click here to access

Resources for Black Youth and Families

Peel Youth Crisis Mental Health Resources

Agencies that Serve Black Youth and Families in Peel Region

  • Compilation of Peel agencies and services committed to community empowerment and advocacy
  • Click here to access

Children’s Books with Diversity

Black characters have been historically underrepresented within children’s books. In 2015, 73.3% of characters in children’s books were white, 12.5% were non-human characters like animals and trucks, and only 7.6% of characters were African or African American. It’s important for children to read books with diverse characters. Here are some potential children’s books about race and diversity: