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Resources from the APS Office of Equity and Engagement and school districts across the nation.

Addressing Equity and Race Relations

For Parents 

Talking About Race

The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a valuable resource through its "Talking About Race" initiative, aimed at fostering constructive conversations on the complex and often sensitive topic of race in America. This online platform provides tools, guidance, and educational materials designed to empower individuals and communities to navigate discussions with empathy, understanding, and respect. By addressing historical contexts, systemic issues, and personal experiences, the initiative encourages a deeper understanding of race relations and promotes meaningful dialogue towards equity and justice. It serves as a critical resource for educators, parents, and anyone committed to advancing social change through informed and compassionate dialogue.

Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. What do we tell our children?

This USA Today article provides essential guidance on how to talk to children about racism, racial violence, and police brutality. Recognizing the challenging and sensitive nature of these topics, the article offers practical advice for parents and caregivers on initiating age-appropriate conversations that promote understanding and empathy. It emphasizes the importance of listening to children's questions and concerns, providing honest but developmentally appropriate explanations, and fostering a safe environment for open dialogue. By addressing these issues directly and equipping children with knowledge and empathy, caregivers can help cultivate awareness, resilience, and a commitment to justice from an early age. The article acts as a valuable resource for navigating these difficult conversations with sensitivity and effectiveness.

Source: USA Today

How to Talk to Your Kids About Protests & Racism

This CNN article offers insightful guidance on discussing racism and social justice protests with children amidst current events. It emphasizes the importance of honesty, age-appropriate explanations, and actively listening to children's perspectives. The article highlights strategies for helping children process emotions like fear and confusion while promoting empathy and understanding of racial inequality. It encourages parents and caregivers to engage in ongoing conversations about race and justice, acknowledging that these discussions are crucial for nurturing a generation that values equality and social change. 

Source: CNN article

8 Tips for Choosing 'Good' Picture Books Featuring Black and Indigenous People and People of Color

The EmbraceRace resource provides valuable guidance through its "8 Tips for Choosing Good Picture Books Featuring Diverse BIPOC Characters" aiming to support parents and educators in selecting inclusive and impactful literature for children. This resource emphasizes the importance of representation, authenticity, and positive portrayal of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) characters in children's books. It encourages readers to seek out stories that reflect diverse experiences, cultures, and backgrounds, while also promoting critical thinking and discussion about race and identity. By following these practical tips, caregivers can effectively introduce children to literature that celebrates diversity, fosters empathy, and expands their understanding of the world.

Source: EmbraceRace

For Educators

Moments Like Now Are Why We Teach

This Chalkbeat article explores how educators are navigating challenging discussions about race and violence in virtual classrooms. Amidst heightened awareness sparked by recent events, teachers are adapting strategies to engage students in meaningful conversations about racial injustice and systemic inequalities. The article underscores the importance of creating safe spaces for dialogue, utilizing digital tools to facilitate nuanced discussions, and providing resources that promote understanding and empathy. It highlights educators' efforts to empower students to critically examine issues of race and violence, fostering a learning environment that encourages reflection, advocacy, and positive social change. This article illustrates the evolving role of virtual education in addressing complex societal issues with sensitivity and educational value.

Source: Chalkbeat

"I Can't Breathe": 4 Minneapolis Officers Fired After Black Man Dies in Custody

This article from The New York Times dated May 29, 2020, delves into a deeply troubling incident where four Minneapolis police officers were fired following the death of a black man, George Floyd, while in custody. Floyd's tragic death sparked widespread outrage and protests across the United States, highlighting longstanding issues of racial inequality and police brutality. The phrase "I can't breathe," uttered by Floyd as he was pinned to the ground, became a rallying cry for demonstrators demanding justice and systemic change. The incident renewed national debate on race relations and police accountability, prompting calls for reforms in law enforcement practices to prevent such tragedies from recurring.

Source: The New York Times 

Murder of George Floyd Sets Off Massive Protests

This Share My Lesson article highlights the significant protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd. His tragic death while in police custody in Minneapolis ignited widespread demonstrations across the United States and globally, demanding justice and systemic reform. The protests underscored deep-seated issues of racial injustice and police brutality, prompting a national reckoning on race relations. George Floyd's killing, captured on video, galvanized public outrage and became a focal point for calls to address systemic racism and inequality within law enforcement. The protests not only sought accountability for Floyd's death but also aimed to drive meaningful change in policies and practices to ensure equity and fairness in society.

Source: Share My Lesson

Obama on George Floyd's Death and the 'Maddening' Normalcy of Racism

In his statement featured on NPR on May 29, 2020, former President Barack Obama addressed the death of George Floyd and the pervasive issue of racism in America. Obama expressed profound sadness and frustration over Floyd's tragic death, emphasizing the systemic nature of racism and the need for immediate and sustained action to combat it. He condemned the recurring cycle where African Americans disproportionately suffer from police brutality and societal discrimination, describing it as a "maddening normalcy" that must be challenged and changed. Obama's remarks highlighted the urgency of addressing racial inequalities and fostering a more just and inclusive society where all individuals are treated with dignity and equality under the law.

Source: National Public Radio (NPR)

Equity Case Analysis Process

The Equity Case Analysis Process, developed by Paul Gorski and Seema Pothini, provides a structured approach to examining educational scenarios through an equity lens. It begins by identifying biases and inequities within a case, urging stakeholders to consider diverse perspectives from all community members, whether directly involved or at a distance. Emphasizing the potential for dialogue and positive systemic change, the process envisions equitable outcomes that address broader structural inequities, not just immediate conflicts. It encourages both short-term responses and long-term policy adjustments aimed at fostering fair distribution of opportunities and access within educational settings. This framework underscores the importance of understanding and addressing privilege disparities to promote inclusive and just learning environments.

Source: Equity Literacy Institute

How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help

This article from Read Brightly offers valuable guidance on how parents and educators can effectively discuss race with children, providing a curated list of books and resources to facilitate these conversations. It emphasizes the importance of starting these discussions early and openly, aiming to promote understanding, empathy, and anti-racist attitudes from a young age. The recommended books cover a range of topics, from celebrating diversity to addressing historical and contemporary issues of racial discrimination. By using literature as a tool, the article encourages adults to engage children in meaningful dialogues about race, helping them navigate complex social issues and develop a more inclusive worldview. This approach supports efforts to raise children who are informed, compassionate, and actively engaged in promoting racial justice and equality.

Source: Brightly

Teaching About Race and Racism

The Share My Lesson collection on teaching about race and racism provides educators with a comprehensive resource to address these crucial topics in the classroom. It offers a curated selection of lesson plans, activities, and teaching strategies designed to foster understanding, empathy, and critical thinking among students. The materials cover a wide range of subjects, including historical perspectives on racism, contemporary issues, and strategies for promoting diversity and inclusivity. By utilizing these resources, educators can effectively facilitate meaningful discussions, challenge stereotypes, and empower students to become advocates for social justice. This collection serves as a valuable tool in equipping teachers with the necessary resources to create inclusive learning environments where students can learn about, understand, and actively combat racism.

Source: American Federation of Teachers Share My Lesson

Social Justice Issues

The Share My Lesson collection on social justice issues provides educators with an array of lesson plans, resources, and activities to engage students in understanding and addressing societal inequalities. This curated collection covers a diverse range of topics such as human rights, environmental justice, gender equality, and economic disparities. Each resource is designed to encourage critical thinking, empathy, and activism among students, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities of social justice. By utilizing these materials, educators can empower students to explore these issues through discussions, projects, and interactive learning experiences, preparing them to advocate for positive change in their communities and beyond.

Source: American Federation of Teachers Share My Lesson

Resources from Other Public School Systems 

An Educators Guide to This Moment: Resources for Educators, Parents and Students

The Montgomery County Public Schools' guide titled "An Educators Guide to This Moment" serves as a comprehensive resource for educators navigating conversations around racial injustice and social equity with their students. Released amidst societal unrest and heightened awareness following incidents like the killing of George Floyd, the guide aims to support educators in addressing these sensitive topics in classrooms effectively. It provides practical strategies and resources for fostering discussions, promoting empathy, and empowering students to understand and challenge systemic inequalities. The guide encourages educators to lead with an anti-racist mindset, prioritize student well-being, and engage in ongoing professional development to create inclusive and supportive learning environments. It serves as a crucial tool in equipping educators with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these complex issues and empower students to contribute positively to a more just society.

Source: Chicago (Ill.) Public Schools Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools

Guidance on How Districts Can Facilitate Conversations About Race-based Stress and Trauma

The document "Race-Based Stress and Trauma" updated by the Kentucky Department of Education on March 24, 2023, provides comprehensive guidance for educators on navigating discussions around racial trauma and stress in school communities. It defines racial trauma as the psychological and physical harm resulting from encounters with racism, discrimination, and marginalization. The guidance emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and addressing these issues proactively, offering strategies for creating safe spaces for dialogue, understanding the impacts of micro- and macroaggressions, and promoting an anti-racist framework in educational settings. It encourages educators to engage in ongoing professional development on diversity, equity, and inclusion, while also providing resources for supporting students, staff, and caregivers affected by race-based stress and trauma. The document underscores the commitment to equity and resilience in education, aiming to foster inclusive environments where all students feel valued and supported.

Source: Kentucky Department of Education

Say Their Names: A toolkit to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience

The "Say Their Names" page on the Chicago Public Schools website serves as a poignant memorial and educational resource dedicated to honoring the lives of individuals impacted by systemic violence and injustice. This initiative reflects CPS's commitment to equity and social justice by amplifying the voices and stories of those who have been tragically lost. By sharing these names and narratives, CPS aims to foster empathy, understanding, and a deeper awareness of the ongoing struggles faced by marginalized communities. The page encourages reflection and action, urging visitors to recognize the humanity behind each name and to advocate for meaningful change in their memory.

Source: Chicago (Ill.) Public Schools 

This page was last updated on: September 25, 2020.