As youth development professionals, it’s important that we work to understand and address hate and bias. In doing so, we need to be prepared to have discussions about racism, create safe spaces for the youth we serve and promote equity in programming. Below are a few resources we find helpful and want to pass along to you.
*This list is should not be viewed as exhaustive; it is intended to be a starting point for youth development professionals, educators, parents and other adults who regularly interact with youth.
Resources to Shape Youth Development Programming
- Resources to promote belonging and inclusion from Afterschool Alliance provides a hub of information for youth workers who want to support racial equity, build cultural competence and assess and address bias.
- Do the Work: What Every Afterschool Professional Can Do to Promote Equity from National AfterSchool Association provides a great starting point for professionals who seek to be intentional about promoting equity and inclusion in programming.
- Embedding a Racial Equity Perspective in the Positive Youth Development Approach is a brief provided by Child Trends that examines how positive youth development programs can embed a racial equity lens.
Lesson Plans and Resources for Educators
- Teaching Tolerance has lesson plans youth development professionals can use to promote social justice, challenge bias and engage students in discussions about diversity.
- Anti-Defamation League offers lesson plans that can be filtered by age and topic for classroom and online learning to promote critical thinking and learning around historical and current events through the lens of diversity, bias and social justice.
- Educate to Liberate: Build an Anti-Racist Classroom by Edutopia provides steps educators can take toward building an anti-racist classroom.
Having Conversations With Youth
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good provides a fantastic resource roundup of articles, books, podcasts and more for caring adults to talk to youth about race at any age.
- TODAY Parenting Guides gives tips and tools for how to talk to kids about race and racism.
- Anti-Racism for Kids: An Age-by-Age Guide to Fighting Hate by Parents Magazine provides a guide informed by experts on how adults can empower kids to be forces for good in an age-appropriate context.
- Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism by PBS KIDS provides tips and resources to help you have a meaningful conversation with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.
Building Your Library
- 30 books to help you talk to your kids about racism by Today’s Parent is a great list of books that can be read with children to have them start thinking and talk about race and racism.
- 13 Children’s Books About Race and Diversity is a list from PBS KIDS of books featuring Black characters or written by Black authors compiled to encourage conversations around race with your students. Children’s books are one of the most effective tools to engage with young children on important issues.
- Looking for Excellent “Diverse” Books for Children? Start Here! by Embrace Race is a resource hub providing several links to articles, blogs and sites for finding quality children’s books that feature diversity, as well as tools for intentionally creating an anti-bias children’s book collection.
- Being Antiracist is a page from National Museum of African American History & Culture that has many great resources including defining racism, explaining how structural racism is perpetuated and showing what anitracism looks like on personal, interpersonal and institutional levels.
- Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good is a fantastic resource from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley for exploring our potential to reduce prejudice in society and in ourselves. This list contains a wealth of information such as the roots of racism, overcoming bias, confronting racism and more.