Anti-Bias Resources for the Endeavor Family

In the midst of two pandemics, COVID-19 and systematic racism, we need to ask what changes we are capable of making to bring about the world we want, and our children deserve. Below is a list of guidelines that we use to promote equality and tolerance in our schools.

One of the most powerful ways that we can support children’s appreciation of diversity and respect for differences is to walk the walk.

Many of us lead segregated lives without even being aware of it. Children as young as 6 months of age are aware of racial differences. Professor Kang Lee from the University of Toronto says that lack of exposure to racial diversity may cause racial bias in infants. Do you and your children have the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of friends and professionals in your community? Does the literature in your home include a diverse representation of experts, heroes and characters? Building book collections that celebrate diversity can be challenging due to the centuries of racial and gender inequality that have resulted in there being a lot more white and male protagonists in children’s literature than any other demographic. This said, there are so many new and wonderful books coming out (a list of titles can be found below). You can take inventory of the books in your home and seek to get a healthy balance of representation.

Talk about differences.

A child is never too young to talk about racial differences. Because many of us feel uncomfortable talking about race we opt to be ‘color silent’. In the absence of helpful conversations about race with trusting adults, children develop their own theories based on images and experiences that may be unhelpful. Instead, talk about race. Help children to understand why people look different and affirm the beauty and power of all races.

While children of any age can engage in conversations about racism, the conversation should be age appropriate.

Young children are very concrete in their processing of information. Talk about behavior that is hurtful versus helpful and do not give them more details or information than they
can handle. Concepts like murder are difficult for young children to understand, but they do understand the notion of ‘hurting someone’s body’ and doing and saying things that lead to sad and angry feelings. Older preschoolers and elementary age children are keenly aware of the bad feeling of something being unfair. Upper elementary children and adolescents are ready to deeply discuss the concepts of justice, equity and civil disobedience. All children, especially young children, need examples of what TO DO not just what not to do. Beverly Daniel Tatum encourages us to highlight the allies and resistors who confront racism.

Respond to incidents of prejudice by focusing on feelings and pushing back against stereotypes.

Incidents of prejudice can be powerful learning opportunities for children, including children who may be perpetuating stereotypes. Start by comforting the target of the bias, encouraging them to name their emotions. Then, reject the stereotype by offering counter examples (i.e. superheroes, princesses, Jedi, presidents and wizards can be people of any race).

The goal is for the children to develop their own sense of appreciation of diversity, to develop helpful strategies to advocate for others, to identify and speak against the hurting, belittling or marginalizing of others and seek to consistently strive to be aware of and confront their own biases.

A few links are offered below as resources in our quest to continue to educate our children, students, and ourselves and stand up for equity and social justice.

Resources for Talking about Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids: This document was compiled by the Center for Racial Justice in Education
Anti-racism Resources for White People: a large compilation of resources for white people and parents to deepen their work in anti-racism.
Teaching Tolerance: Teaching about race, racism, and police violence. Includes classroom resources such as: lessons, learning plans, tasks for children by grade level, teaching strategies, posters, readings, and films.
How You Can Be an Ally in the Fight for Social Justice: Activist DeRay Mckesson explains how we can all show up and stand up.
Social Justice Standards (K-12), Age-appropriate learning outcomes are divided into four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action. Free to download the Standards.
JenCort.com: Jen Cort is a dynamic school consultant who “invites the elephants in the room to tea.” She works with teachers, school leaders, and students and focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. (Blog, podcast, workshops, school consultations)
Anti-Bias Education Booklists: Selection of multi-cultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators
Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books: from Teaching for Change – Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom
• Instagram @theconsciouskid

Resources for Educators of Young Children (birth through 3rd grade)

NAEYC Resources: Resources from the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves book – excellent resource for Early Childhood educators
Interacting with Children and Youth on Issues of Diversity and Bias: The first few pages of this PDF from the Partnership Against Hate address how children develop attitudes about race in the first few years of life
Coping with Violence: Compilation of online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children.
Protecting Children from Extreme Screen Violence: Blog post about protecting children from screen violence
Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families: NAEYC article

Resources for Educators of 4th through 12th graders

Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice: Resources from the Anti-Defamation League
Interacting with Children and Youth on Issues of Diversity and Bias: Great instructional PDF from the Partnership Against Hate
Array Now: Started by Ava DuVernay, director of Now They See Us, this is a compilation of African American independent films-an array of stories and voices.
A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice: from Cult Pedagogy

Race-Equity Books for Toddler – High School

Toddler/Early Elementary (Baby-Pre-K-2nd Grade):

• A is for Activism by Innosanto Nagara
• Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne and Theodore Taylor III
• Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
• Brick by Brick by Giuliano Ferry
• Nursery Rhymes for Social Good: Alternative Poems for Future Activists by Holly
Elizabeth Olsen and Elie Galih
• An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing and Paulina Morgan
• Skin Again by Bell Hooks
• Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
• The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas
• The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
• The Skin You Live in by Michael Tyler
• We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates
• All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
• Skin Like Mine by LaTishia M. Perry
• Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
• Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
• I am Enough by Grace Beyers
• I Believe I can by Grace Beyers
• Hey, Black Child! by Useni Eugene Perkins
• The Undefeated (Caldecott Medal Book) by Kwame Alexander
• Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by
Steve Herman
• Hands Up! By Breana J. McDaniel
• Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham
• A Kid’s Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
• Let the Children March by Monica Clark Robinson
• Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh
Elementary- (3rd Grade-5th Grade)
Nonfiction
• Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
• Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things) by Anastasia
Higginbotham
• Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by
Marianne Celano, PHD
• Our Future: How Kids Are Taking Action (How Kids Are Making a Difference) by
Janet Wilson
• We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid
Activists, Activism Book for Children) by Harry Belafonte
• Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by
Steve Herman
• How to Make a Better World: For Every Kid Who Wants to Make a Difference by
Keilly Swift
• Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change (Kid
Legends) by Robin Stevenson and Allison Steinfeild
• I Know My Rights: A Children’s Guide to the Bill of Rights and Individual
Liberty by Rory Margraf
• Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
• Civil Rights Then and Now: A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in America by
Kristina Brooke Daniele
• When a Bully is a President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times by Maya
Gonzalez
• The Power Book: What is it? Who Has it? And Why? By Claire Saunders

Fiction

• Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
• Ghost Boy by Jewell Parker Rhodes
• For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama Lockington
• Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
• A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
• Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

Older Kids (Middle School-High School)

Fiction

• Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
• Monster by Walter Dean Meyers
• The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
• Ghost Boy by Jewell Parker Rhodes
• Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
• Dear Martin by Nic Stone
• Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
• A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
• Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson
• Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
• Crow by Barbara Wright
• Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
• All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
• How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
• I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Non Fiction

• Tell Me Who You Are by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi
• Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by
• Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li
• Young Revolutionary: A Teen’s Guide to Activism by Chanice Lee
• This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The
Work by Tiffany Jewell
• We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid
Activists, Activism Book for Children) by Harry Belafonte
• Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey
Baptiste, et al.
• How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation by Maureen Johnson
• Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone
• You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul
• Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution by
KaeLyn Rich
• Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
• Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices Edited by Mitali Perkins

Graphic Novels

• March (Trilogy Slipcase Set) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
• New Kid by Jerry Craft
• I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
• Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown