Curriculum Supporting Racial Justice
CURRICULUM for K-12
ADL. “Guidelines for Achieving Bias-Free Communication - For Educators.” Adapted from Without Bias: A Guidebook for Nondiscriminatory Communication, Second Edition with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © 1982. This content is timeless.
ADL. “Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice.” “Rather than protect children and youth from what’s going on in the world, there are age-appropriate and constructive ways to engage them in understanding the situation. … suggestions, strategies and resources to help make those discussions rich and productive for students.”
Anderson, Jill. “Confronting Racism at an Early Age.” Harvard Graduate School of Education, 28 Aug 2017. “Drawing on lessons learned, a principal offers tips on bringing a curriculum on racism to elementary schools.”
BrownBookshelf.com. 2020. The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers.
28 Days Later, an annual celebration during Black History
Month of “children’s or young adult author[s] and children’s
illustrator [s], looking for the best new and unnoticed works
by African-Americans. From picture books to novels, books
fresh off the presses to those that have lurked in the
background unsung for months or years.”
KidLit4BlackLives Rally on June 4, 2020, 2 hours and 15 minutes of a call to action directed to both students and their adults. Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families and Educators
Celano, Marianne; Marietta Collins; and Ann Hazzard. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice. Magination Press, 2018.
Chatelaine, Dr. Marcia. “How to Talk to Students About Ferguson. Teachers’ Lounge: a blog, PBS, 29 Aug 2014. Also PBS New Hour Season 2014 Episode 3310 “How Teachers Can Talk to Students about Ferguson.” 8 minutes.
Cooke, Nicole. Anti-Racism Resources for All Ages. Padlet. A Project by the Augusta Baker Chair, University of South Carolina.
Gonzales, Jennifer. A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice, Cult of Pedagogy, 14 FEb 2016. “Can we explicitly teach students how to change the world? If this question has been whispering in the back of your mind, the resources in this collection will help.”
International Literacy Association. “How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids.” A Town Hall, 18 June 2020. Hosted by Kwame Alexander. A nearly 2 hour recording.
Grant-Thomas, Andrew and Melissa Giraud. “Supporting Kids Of Color In the Wake Of Racialized Violence.” Embrace Race podcast, 14 July 2016.
GrassROOTS Community Foundation. “1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide.” A resource guide created from the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign led by Marley Dias [beginning in 2015]. Not only is this a remarkable compilation, but Marley was 11 years old when she started, making her an excellent example of student activism.
Harvey, Jennifer. Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America. Abingdon, 2018. “Raising White Kids is a book for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able allies in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.”
Holmes, Margaret. A Terrible Thing Happened: A Story for Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma. Magination Press, 2000. “Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but soon something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous for no reason. Sometimes his stomach hurt. He had bad dreams. And he started to feel angry and do mean things, which got him in trouble. Then he met Ms. Maple, who helped him talk about the terrible thing that he had tried to forget. Now Sherman is feeling much better.”
Major, Amielle. “How to Develop Culturally Responsive Teaching for Distance Learning.” MindShift, KQED, 20 May 2020. “At its core, culturally responsive instruction is about helping students become independent learners. Culturally responsive instruction should:
--Focus on improving the learning capacity of students who
have been marginalized educationally because of
historical inequities in our school systems.
--Center around both the affective and cognitive aspects of
teaching and learning.
--Build cognitive capacity and academic mindset by pushing
back on dominant narratives about people of color.
Manji, Irshad. www.MoralCourage.com - “Moral courage means doing the right thing in the face of your fears.” “[M]oral courage [is] the skill to turn disagreement into engagement and, ultimately, into shared action. Yes, it’s a skill that can be taught.” This site offers teacher training, community mentors, and stories to illustrate the ideas. Founded by Irshad Manji, recipient of the first Oprah award for “boldness.”
Media Smarts. “Talking to Kids about Racial Stereotypes – Tip Sheet.” Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy.
Michael, Ali and Eleonora Bartoli. “What White Children Need to Know about Race.” Independent School Magazine (NAIS), Summer 2014.
Mylnek, Alex. “How to Talk About Racism: An age-by-age guide” Today’s Parent, 9 Feb 2017.
National Museum of African American History and Culture. Talking About Race. For Educators, Parents & Caregivers, and Individuals.
Parsons, Julie and Dr. Kimberly Ridley. “Identity, Affinity, Reality.” Independent School Magazine (NAIS), Winter 2012. “...issues of race often lie just below the surface of children’s daily experiences. In the relative security of an affinity group, these realities come to life. Affinity groups are places where students build connections and process “ouch” moments from their classes.”
Perkins, Dave. “Enduring And Sustainable Anti-Racism.” The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 213 With Irshad Manji, Director for Courage, Curiosity, and Character at Let Grow, about the ways in which we can implement enduring anti-racist measures.
Pitts, Jamilah. “Teaching as Activism, Teaching as Care.” Teaching Tolerance, 15 May 2020.
Racial Equity Education. “The connection between systemic racism and inequality is no longer deniable, and it’s time for our school districts to shuffle themselves over to the right side of history and address both in a profound and effective way.” This effort is contacting school districts across the US with both a demand for change and a compilation of K-12 curriculum resources for implementation.
Raising Race Conscious Children. “100 race conscious things you can say to advance Racial Justice.” 2 June 2016. “In honor of Raising Race Conscious Children’s 100th post, … modeling language that has actually been used in a conversation with a child regarding race (and other identity-markers such as gender and class).”
Silenzi, Andrea. “How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist,” The Longest Shortest Time (podcast), 8 March 2017.
Solly, Meilan. “158 Resources to Understand Racism in America.” Smithsonian Magazine, 4 June 2020. “These articles, videos, podcasts and websites from the Smithsonian chronicle the history of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States.”
NOTE: CURRICULUM BY AGE LEVEL offers age-focused resources.
Also scroll down on this page for
SELECTING ANTI-BIAS, ANTI-RACIST, MULTICULTURAL
and BIPOC RESOURCES
NOTE 2: 2019 and 2020 titles are noted in PURPLE. Newer is not always better, but it may be important in this context.
Suggestions for additional curricular materials may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Black Girls and School Discipline: Four Researchers Unpack K-12's Racial Bias.” Education Week Commentary, 2 June 2016. Adrienne D. Dixon (U Ilinois Champaign/Urbana), Shaun R. Harper (UPenn), Bettina Love (UGeorgia), and Terri N. Watson (City College of Y) offer comments in one minutes videos. Useful despite the 2016 date.
Muhammead, Gholdy. Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (Scholastic, 2019) This book is an essential tool for teachers, principals, counselors, and anyone who strives to teach literacy better, particularly to students of color. While outlining a four-part framework for teaching, Muhammad provides culturally and historically responsive sample plans and text sets.
--“Race Talk: Engaging Young People in Conversations
about Race and Racism.” ADL.
-- “Education Glossary Terms.” ADL.
--“Creating an Anti-Bias Learning Environment.” ADL.
--Duncan-Andrade, Jeffrey M. R. “Note to Educators: Hope
Required When Growing Roses in Concrete.” “In this essay,
Jeff Duncan-Andrade explores the concept of hope, which
was central to the Obama campaign, as essential for
nurturing urban youth. He first identifies three forms of
“false hope”—hokey hope, mythical hope, and hope
deferred—pervasive in and peddled by many urban
schools. Discussion of these false hopes then gives way to
Duncan-Andrade’s conception of “critical hope,” explained
through the description of three necessary elements of
educational practice that produce and sustain true hope.
Through the voices of young people and their teachers,
and the invocation of powerful metaphor and imagery,
Duncan-Andrade proclaims critical hope’s significance for
an education that relieves undeserved suffering in
BOOKLISTS for K-12
To borrow from Booklist Magazine: “[T]hese books—and these systemic problems: white supremacy, police brutality, centuries of violence against Black people, carried out time and again by white people—have been here. And we’d be naïve to believe that by reading books alone we might somehow upend that reality. We cannot rely on the books to do the work for us, but in the hopes they might serve as catalysts for the self-reflection and group discussion that often preface effective antiracist action, we have developed a list of our own. For those committed to this journey—the reading and the subsequent action—below is a start.”
Bassett, Katherine et al, eds. NNSTOY Social Justice Book List. Nat’l Network of State Teachers of the Year with University of Phoenix College of Education, 2017. Despite the 2017 date, this is a useful compilation for K-12.
Books to Teach White Children and Teens How to Undo Racism and White Supremacy.” Charis Books & More, Atlanta GA. A useful list for K-12.
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature. Lists of Best Multicultural Books of the Year, 2013 - present. “Our mission is to preserve the richness of the many cultures in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Further, our mission is to provide children, teachers, parents, educators, students, and librarians access to multicultural children’s books with high literary and artistic standards.” K-12.
EMIERT, Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults. Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table of the ALA. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.
Chaudhri, Amina. “Classroom Connections: Collaboration and Resilience.” Booklist, Jan 2020. “Recent publications for young readers counter the message of individualism by underscoring the collective influences that make us who we are. Authors are wrapping their protagonists in communities, suggesting quite clearly that we are stronger when we connect with others. These stories are particularly salient in their recognition that communities of color have always maintained a degree of collectivism across cultures and histories, whether through personal or public struggle.” This list covers grades K-12.
Khuri, Ronnie. “Classroom Connections: #OwnVoices Anthologies.” Booklist, Sept. 2019. “Easily shareable in segments or in their entirety, these anthologies and short story collections from creators in marginalized communities tackle tough and necessary topics. … [T]here are so many important conversations to be had with young people today—on race, gender, sexuality, mental health, climate change, gun violence, bullying, war, religion, and so on. … [T]he recent surge in #OwnVoices literature has brought along a number of anthologies on a wide variety of social subjects.” This bibliography includes various genres and covers grades 4-12.
Leeper, Angela. “Classroom Connections: Speak Up, Speak Out, March On.” Booklist, Jan 2019. “Equip kids with the tools they need to learn about and engage in peaceful resistance with these fiction and nonfiction books about protests. … The books covered here not only validate children and teens’ feelings and experiences but also give them the tools to speak up, resist, protest, and ultimately make a difference in issues that matter to them—all in peaceful ways. From historical backgrounds on protest movements and practical tips for today’s marches to inspirational stories and profiles of influential protesters, …” Covers grades K-12.
Looking for Excellent Diverse Books for children: Start here! EmbraceRace.org. A how-to and compilation of resources for parents and teachers.
Reading for Change: Booklist-Recommended Antiracism Titles for All Ages Via BookList and the American Library Association. “[T]hese books—and these systemic problems: white supremacy, police brutality, centuries of violence against Black people, carried out time and again by white people—have been here. And we’d be naïve to believe that by reading books alone we might somehow upend that reality. We cannot rely on the books to do the work for us, but in the hopes they might serve as catalysts for the self-reflection and group discussion that often preface effective antiracist action, we have developed a list of our own. For those committed to this journey—the reading and the subsequent action—below is a start.”
Social Justice Books (A Teaching for Change project). Here are more than 60 carefully selected lists of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators.
We Are KidLit Collective Summer Reading Lists. The We Are Kid Lit Collective works to create materials and opportunities to recognize the humanity of Indigenous and People of Color (IPOC) in youth literature. K-12.
SELECTING ANTI-BIAS, ANTI-RACIST, MULTICULTURAL and BIPOC RESOURCES
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. “[O]ur mission is to provide children, teachers, parents, educators, students, and librarians access to multicultural children’s books with high literary and artistic standards. The primary objectives include: a) to foster an interest in multicultural children’s literature for young people; b) to promote awareness of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL); and c) to generate excitement in the study of multicultural literature.”
Derman Sparks, Louise. “Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books.” Useful to parents, teachers and librarians.
Diverse Bookfinder “The Diverse BookFinder is a comprehensive collection of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC). We've cataloged and analyzed trade picture books fitting this criteria, published since 2002…”
Grassroots Community Foundation. 1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide. A resource guide created from the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign led by Marley Dias.
WeNeedDiverseBooks. “Imagine a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”
We Are Kid Lit Collective. Our work is premised upon the principles of social justice, equity, and inclusion and centers IPOC voices in children’s literature in order to identify, challenge and dismantle white supremacy and both internalized and systematic racism. Our intended audience includes educators, librarians, caregivers and young people. We look for ways to improve the literacies of IPOC children, promote books written by and about IPOC, and to encourage gatekeepers to bring a lens of critical literacy to their work.