Supporting kids of color amid racialized violence

Experts answer your questions.

How to talk to preschoolers, especially preschoolers of color, about race?

I think a lot of people are trying to figure out, how do I teach them everything right now? And my answer to that is … don’t teach them everything right now!

What should we tell young children about police?

How to fortify kids, especially kids of color, against racism without freaking them out?

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child psychologist specializing in trauma and ethnic minority mental health at the Wright Institute in SF. She identifies as Black.

There is a relationship between what parents are doing to positively socialize their children, help them become aware of racial bias but also instilling that sense, as Allison said, of racial pride, and how schools can do similar work.

How can schools support healthy racial identity development?

How to support kids who are already traumatized due to their experience as part of a targeted group?

There are many resources for educators to start to become aware of how racialized violence is manifesting itself in children’s bodies and in their behavior.

Dr. Sandra “Chap” Chapman is the Director of Equity and Community at the Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School in New York City. She identifies as Latina.

How to help racially traumatized, stressed and anxious kids in a school setting?

That racial anxiety that families of color, or a parent raising a child of color, have, it’s because they want to make sure that in the many hours that child was in the school context in the school setting that they will be affirmed and supported and validated and heard. And that’s not always the case.

How should parents approach teachers (and vice versa) about racial dynamics and biases at school?

[In a school context] Ali Michael … talks about how important it is for white colleagues to “call in” white colleagues as opposed to “calling them out.” It can be a very supportive environment when white colleagues are looking to their white colleagues for support around this work.

It’s OK to begin having a conversation with kids about allyship. You might use a different language about what it means to be kind or what it means to be a friend. In our family we talk specifically about what is an ally, how could you tell if you were being an ally?

How to help kids of color and all kids be allies to others who are positioned differently from them?

We have had a long history with parent affinity groups … It’s not divisive. In fact, it strengthens our community and has continued to strengthen our community because parents really believe that they have a voice and that they have a forum for their concerns to be heard.

What are examples of structures schools use successfully to involve parents and guardians in creating anti-racist schools communities?

What happens is the bully picks up the arms of the oppressor. And that is through heterosexism, racism, sexism, and body shaming, all the different ways and you can think about how oppression exists, those are the tools that bullies are often arming themselves with.

What can guardians and schools do about race-based bullying at school?

How can guardians and schools support multiracial kids in this conversation?


Resources mentioned in this conversation


Embrace Race

our community of support around race and raising kids, more at embracerace.org

Melissa Giraud

Written by

Co-founder of EmbraceRace, a community of support about race and raising kids.

Embrace Race

our community of support around race and raising kids, more at embracerace.org