How to Teach Diversity to Our Young Children?
3 tips to bring diversity into our homes
Today, June 19, is an American holiday named Juneteenth or Freedom Day. 155 years ago today — two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 — the Proclamation was formally read by Gordon Granger in Texas, the last state in the US to emancipate the African American slaves. However, despite this substantial milestone for human rights and the number of years in between, inequalities between races still exist today.
The latest events in the news woke me up: I am a mother of two young girls, and I realized that I can make a difference. I can teach my children to raise their voices against injustice. We, as parents, can create a more equitable future by teaching our children about diversity.
So how can we raise children who embrace diversity?
1. Take an unconscious bias test
Becoming self-aware of our unconscious beliefs and attitudes is the starting point, as our self-perception can differ from our actual behavior and implicit biases. I recently discovered this Implicit Association Test (IAT) test from Harvard. There are several tests in the list, but I looked at the Skin-Tone IAT. It takes about ten minutes, but it is a well-designed test and worth the time.
The test “often reveals an automatic preference for light-skin relative to dark-skin”, according to Harvard. So the next step is to acknowledge the result of the test and then work on adjusting that mindset by reading online articles or taking free online classes like this one (unless, of course, you are one of the mere 19% who has little or no negative preference).
Taking this test and our more mindful actions following the test help us grow. This also helps our children grow too as our children replicate what they see and perceive in us.
2. Invite diversity into our world
In the toys we buy