Talking to Kids About Racism

Every child, regardless of race, ethnicity, and background, deserves to grow up in a safe, welcoming environment. Unfortunately, racism and social injustices continue to have a presence in our country.  

Starlight is committed to doing our part by ensuring equal access to our programs and delivering 50% of Starlight programs to children’s facilities caring for medically underserved and vulnerable populations. We also want to help educate our community and provide them with resources to have difficult conversations with children.  

In order to do this, Certified Child Life Specialists have gathered the following resources to help you explore ways that you can teach empathy through communication and education. 

We encourage parents and caregivers to begin conversations about race, privilege, bias, diversity, and inclusivity starting in pre-school to set the next generation up for a future full of love and compassion. 

CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill partnered with "Sesame Street" for Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, a town hall for kids and families. Watch the town hall in its entirety. 

Jessica Grose, New York Times, provides a list of books to start the conversation about race and keep it going at all ages. 

Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered, spoke with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America.

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In this set of resources, video from DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD is used to focus on how you can help children value and appreciate ways in which we are alike and ways in which we are different. 

Child psychologists come together to offer suggestions on how to speak to your children about hate and racism we face every day. Grouped by age ranges, you will learn how to approach conversations with your children and best understand their point of view on such difficult topics. 

Psychologists, educators and parenting experts offer practical, age-appropriate advice to help you integrate lessons of respect and tolerance in day-to-day activities. And a final section offers guidance for reflecting upon your own biases, and how those biases affect your parenting. 

A document “put together in hopes it will spark conversations in homes with caregivers and little ones across the globe” 

Experts Julie Lythcott-Haims (Author, Former Dean of Freshmen, Stanford University), Rosalind Wiseman (Founder, Cultures of Dignity), and Amber Coleman-Mortley (Director of Social Engagement, iCivics) provide tips on starting conversations around racism. 

This blog offers ways for us to create inclusive and diverse environments for preschool aged children. You will find dolls for pretend play, art supplies for self-expression, and family and food sets for exploration. 

A list of the best black kids movies on Netflix including family comedies, educational shows, animated shows, and action movies. 

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