In this issue: talk is cheap when it comes to raising racially just kids; how we pass down prejudice; when strangers feel justified challenging your indigenous identity; resources to use with kids and more!

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Welcome back to EmbraceRace, where we gather to support each other in matters of race and raising kids. Thanks to all of you who submitted posts and recommended articles and resources in these past couple weeks. Some are in this newsletter.

We’re excited to invite you to the next EmbraceRace online event happening on June 27th at 5:30 pm PT/8:30 pm ET. Register here to join the co-founders of EmbraceRace (that’s us!) in a conversation on Raising kids who EmbraceRace: Why we must, where we begin. We’ll share some of the racial “big picture” that led us to launch the community, and describe some of the principles that can guide our shared work as parents, guardians, teachers, and others who care for and/or about children. We think there's a lot at stake in whether, how, and how thoughtfully we do this work. Let's talk about it! We look forward to your comments and questions.  


Andrew and Melissa

My “American” name is Carlos.

"I am not on a high horse; I simply want to claim what was taken from me so long ago. Carlos is who I feel I am. I feel whole and understood as Carlos. I’m not ashamed of my skin as Carlos. Forgive me if I do not comply anymore.

“As I write this I am baffled as to why was I not allowed to be Carlos in 1971. I’m not completely sure I know the real answer …”

‘What Is Your American Name?’
Carlos Gantchoff, HuffPo
[3-minute read]

The goal is not to raise kids who 'don’t see color.' 

“The easiest way to do this is to acknowledge how we as adults treat and talk about people of other races. We may not think that children are listening, but they are. They look to the adults in their lives as examples. It’s not enough to say, “Black lives matter,” or “I care about immigrants.” You have to show that in a way that is realistic and organic.”
Raising 'Colorblind' Kids Isn’t the Point, Raising Empathetic Kids Is
Sa’iyda Shabazz, Scary Mommy
[3-minute read]

Video: Zip code > genetic code. Really.

Highly recommended! This video - narrated by social justice stalwart (and Star Trekker) George Takei - doesn't explain "structural racism" as such, but it's an excellent and accessible illustration of one very important manifestation of structural racism and how it hurts some more than others (even as it ultimately hurts us all).

A Tale of Two Zip Codes
Health Happens Here, YouTube
[4-minute video]

If you're genuinely interested in my transracial family, let's talk. If you have an 'agenda,' let's not.

"I am not a one-woman adoption education and racial tolerance counselor. I don’t owe you my time, my life story, my daughter’s story, or any other detail about how my family came to be. I don’t owe you that. I don’t owe you anything."

I Don’t Owe You Any Explanation For My Transracial Family
Julianna Mendelsohn, Scary Mommy
[4-minute read]


When people doubt your indigenous identity.

"It’s hard to feel accepted or secure when you’re constantly being questioned about who you are. At times it is easier to shrug off non-Indigenous people questioning and critiquing your identity because you can pass it off as ignorance. But when you get it from your own mob, it digs deep and painfully reinforces the identity issues that have been forced upon you since birth."


Students of color already have a voice. We just need to lend them an ear. 

“Rather than acknowledge the systemic violences that attempt to silence the rich voices, cultures, and histories that students bring into classrooms, this orientation positions students, and by extension, the communities of students, as eternally in need of institutional sanctioning.”

If You Think You’re Giving Students of Color a Voice, Get Over Yourself
Heinemann Publishing, Medium
[3-minute read]

As parents, we need to acknowledge how we routinely perpetuate prejudice and/or racism.

"While dismantling systematic racism is a daunting task, here are five ways parents pass down prejudice, which can lead to the perpetuation of racism:
1. We Say One Thing, But Do Another ..."

5 Ways Parents Pass Down Prejudice and Racism
Danielle Slaughter, HuffPo
[5-minute read]

Resources to use with kids


7 tips for talking to children about race & racism.

"So, what should you do? How do we talk with children about complex things like systemic racism and societal inequity? The particulars will vary by your child’s age, racial identity, and social context (and I’ve included links to resources that speak to specific situations at the end of this article), but there are several things all adults can do." 

Here's How To Raise Race-Conscious Children
Erin Winkler, BuzzFeed
[5-minute read]

How one kinder teacher helps all her students 'see' themselves in her classroom.

“These pencils must be introduced thoughtfully, as a means of guided discovery.

“1. Introduce them, name them and give them purpose by talking about why we use them and why it’s important. Naming is vital because it fosters ownership, love, and celebration of every child’s skin tones ... “

Using Skin-tone Colored Pencils
Woke Kindergarten, Tumblr
[2-minute read]

Read more stories from the EmbraceRace community on Medium

Your turn

Ideas for EmbraceRace? Ways we can help? Email us at (or simply respond to this email).

EmbraceRace is grateful for the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the NoVo Foundation - and people like you!
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