TABLE TALK - Tough Topics

Racism/Racial inequality

Start the Conversation at an Early Age

Ignoring or avoiding the topic isn’t protecting children, it’s leaving them exposed to bias that exists wherever we live.

Conversation Starters

  1. What makes you special?
  2. Name something about yourself that is unique.
  3. What are ways you make others feel good about themselves?
  4. How can you make the world a better place?
  5. What do you think "Kindness is Contagious" means?

Smart Answers to Tough Questions

"Why is that man's skin dark?" "Skin contains something called melanin, which makes us different colors. Some people have more than others. We're all part of a beautiful rainbow, aren't we?"

"Why does that girl talk funny?" "That's called an accent. Her family came from a country where they speak another language."

"Why is he in a wheelchair?" "Some people's legs don't work, so they need a chair with wheels to get from place to place."

"Why is that woman so fat?""People come in all shapes and sizes, and that's what makes the world such an interesting place."

"Why does that man wear a funny wrap on his head?""That's called a turban. He wears it because it's part of his religion, like other people may wear a cross."

Ways to Talk With Your Child About Racism | A Parent's Guide on Race & Racism | PBS KIDS for Parents

Do the “egg test”

Have a child break open a brown egg in one bowl and a white egg in another bowl. Let them see that on the inside they are both the same. Acknowledge that the color of skin on the outside does not make anyone different on the inside.

For Our Younger Students

Write and talk about what makes you special? Talk about your differences and similarities.

Talk about how you can make a positive impact on the people around you.

Discuss differences when you are out and about. For example, when you see someone in a wheelchair, using sign language, dressed in their cultural attire, or blind.

Eat at a restaurant from a different culture of your own.

Attend cultural events.

Read books that discuss different cultures, languages, colors.

Another fun activity is to read “Green Eggs and Ham” and then make some scrambled GREEN eggs. Have the children do a taste test - regular scrambled eggs and GREEN scrambled eggs. Have them notice that they taste the same (even though they may look different)!

Watch the “I Love My Hair” video from Sesame Street: