The author and guest blogger, Christy Crawford, is a code activist and education consultant making the impossible possible, like explaining quantum physics to 3rd graders.
As educators, we often fail to realize the powerful influence and impact we have on children and their worldview. Do you remember how you ran around the house quoting (or mocking) things your teachers said? Do you remember how your favorite teacher dressed, how she laughed, what she said to you, and how it made you feel? Or do you remember asking your parents about discrepancies in history between what you learned in school and what was discussed over dinner?
Educators, what you say—or don’t say—in these weeks of racial unrest around the country will be remembered by your students and their families. Whether you are having a moment of silence during your class meeting or pushing your students to craft new futures of racial equity through their learning, your artistry is your power.
You have the unique position and power to correct years of misinformation, manufactured history, and racist stereotypes. You have the power to make antiracist actions flourish at every grade level. So, what will you do? What will you offer your students in the last weeks of school? Is it listening and responding as a trusted mentor? Is it providing a great set of antiracist read-alouds or dissecting American protest songs? Or is it offering students and their families new tools for introspection and action against systemic racism?
These educators use their influence to make a just and fair society. Share your tools to support Black Lives Matter or read on for resources to support your work and young upstanders for racial justice. Though this time may be stressful for you as well, these history-shaping, teachable moments must be utilized for a better society.
Books, Videos, and Tips for Upstanders
Black Lives Matters at School Coloring and Activity Books highlighting Black Lives Matters principles, restorative justice, and empathy.
The Ending Police Brutality At-Home Family Action Toolkit has caregiver talking points, a kid-friendly word bank, a getting-started guide for writing advocacy poems, and action bingo!
Resources and Talking Points for Caregivers and Educators
Worried your students or kids are too young? Not sure what to say? Check out the treasured sites below.
Tools and guidance on Talking About Race from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Resources for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids from the Center for Racial Justice in Education.