Children begin the development of racial attitudes at a very young age. Research shows that as early as six months, babies are beginning to sort out differences in skin color. Talking to Kids About Race empowers parents, childcare providers, and educators of young children with an understanding of racial attitudes in early childhood development and provides tools for creating change through a research-based, comprehensive workshops.
Talking to Kids About Race I: Internalized-Developing Healthy Identities
The workshop explores how positive and negative messages around race effect children’s identities. Participants are provided with an activity booklet to engage in conversations about race in order to promote the development of positive racial identities.
Talking to Kids About Race II: Interpersonal- Creating Cultural Inclusion.
The workshop explores how children begin to create in-groups and
out-groups and how these groups impact interactions. Participants are given
tools and strategies to promote inclusion and create a mutual sense of
Sample Participant Feedback
“Before this workshop, I didn't know if we should use the colorblind approach or openly talk about our differences. Now I am equipped with ideas and tools on how to approach kids.”
“The tools alone are astoundingly helpful, but the information and materials provided makes an amazing complete package.”
“The workshop was beneficial in providing me ideas on how to handle situations that I felt uncomfortable discussing before.”
“This experience has made me rethink how to talk to children when an issue may arise.”
Our workshop fulfills the Cultural Competency requirement for childcare providers in the Great Start to Quality system. learn more...
Recently featured on Michigan Radio's Seeking Change broadcast, Program Director, Sarah Salguera speaks to the importance engaging young kids. listen now...
from over 56 schools, child care centers, and in-home locations who completed a Talking to Kids About Race workshop. (see extensive list below)
98% of workshop participants felt prepared to talk to kids about race post-workshop in contrast to 62% pre-workshop.
100% of workshop participants felt the facilitator assisted the group in creating a safe space to talk about race.
Schools , Child Care Centers and In-Home Locations:
Muskegon Heights Early Childhood Center, Helping Hands Learning Center, Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Center, MLK Headstart, Holland Christian Preschool, Little Adventures Daycare, Zeeland Christian Center, Aquinas College, Res Life Newaygo Club 56, Grand Rapids Early Discovery Center, William C. Abney Academy, Kids Time, House of Children, Lakeview School District, Little Rainbows, Shamrock Center, Learning Zone Preschool, Take A Break Childcare Center, Forever Friends Childcare, S.N.A.P. Preschool, Tiffanie's Child Care, Albion Public Schools, Woodlawn Preschool, Battle Creek Christian Daycare, Little Rascals DayCare, Indiana Head Start, St. Patrick Preschool, Lake Ridge Head Start, Geminus Head Start, South Haven Head Start, Evans Head Start, Early Head Start Indiana, Hobart Early Head Start, St. Marks Preschool, Temple Preschool, Holy Name Preschool, Kristen's Kiddy Kare, Corpus Christi Preschool, St. Francis deSales Preschool, Zeeland Public Preschool, Zeeland Christian Preschool, YMCA - West Ottawa, Helping Hands Christian Learning Center, Salvation Army Beginning Child Care, Family Growth Center, Pam's Academy of Champions, Pam's Preschool Program, Shabazz Academy, Small Folks Development Center, Early Learning Child care, Cottonwood Christian Learning Center, Kentwood Public Schools, A Child's Place Home Daycare, Hesperia Building Bridges, Angie's Day Care, Packer Pride, CMH Mental Health, Kids World Learning Center, Little Monkeys Childcare, Belleville Day Care, St. Louis GSRP, Joyful Noise, Coopersville West Early Childhood Center, St. Johns Preschool, Kids Kourt, West Michigan Academy of the Arts, Rugrat Palace Daycare, Daycare by Brooke, Pere Marquette Early Child, Kampus Kids Childcare, North Godwin Elementary School, Cedar Springs Public School, Pullman Elementary, Catholic Charities, Daybreak Church, Explore and Grow, Learn & Grow, ECC, 4J's Day Care, Cozy Bear Childcare, Baby, Little Steps at SECOM, Baxter CDC, Steepletown Preschool, United Methodist Community House, Mona Shores -Lincoln Park, La Escuelita, Dar's Daycare, Living Stones Academy, Wooly Lambs Preschool Day Care, Churchill Latchkey, ELNC West, Freedom Early Learn Center, Eastminster Preschool, Everyday Wonders, Milestones, Room to Bloom, Spartan Stores YMCA, Spectrum Health/Bright Horizons, Whistle Stop, Academy Child Care, Aldersgate Centers for Child Development, Alphabet Soup Daycare, Baby Scholars, Backpack Buddies, Baldwin Preschool, Caring Hands Daycare, Careerline Tech Center Head Start, Carson City Children's Center, Children's Corner, Christian Lutheran Preschool, Creative Child Preschool, David D. Hunting YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Debbie's Daycare, Diman-Wolf Early Childhood Center, First Presbyterian Preschool, Fremont Christian Preschool, Generations Child Development Center, Grace Church Preschool, Grand Rapids Community College Lab Preschool, Hill Child Development Center, Maplewood Early Childhood Center, Imagination Station, Kelly Street Kids Daycare, Kent City Preschool, Kiddie Spot Daycare, Kids R Kids, KK's Daycare, Lakeshore Little People’s Place, Lakeview Community Schools, Lakeview Preschool, Learning Tree Montessori, Little Tyke’s Daycare, Ludington Area Catholic, Newaygo County Day Care Corporation, North Park Christian Preschool, Orchard Hill Preschool, Ottawa Area Center School Special Needs, Park Township Tot Time, Pentwater Preschool, Phylinda Place, Play and Learn Early Learning Communities, Reading Rainbow, Shelby Early Childhood Center, Spectrum Health Child Development Center, St. Edward’s Preschool, St. John's Lutheran Church, West Shore Lutheran, White Cloud Child Development Center, White Early Childhood Center, Zeeland Public Schools Childcare
Children begin the development of racial attitudes at a very young age. Research shows that as early as six months, babies are beginning to sort out differences in skin color. By age three, they begin to show racial preferences. In one study, 3-year-olds were shown a set of photographs of children and asked with whom they would like to play. Eighty-six percent of white children picked a white playmate, while only 32% of black children chose a black playmate. The study demonstrates that at this early age, children have already internalized biased messages that white people are better than people of color.
Studies have proven the most effective strategy to foster development of non-biased attitudes toward racial difference is for parents and childcare providers to openly bring up issues of race with children. A study at the University of Texas in Austin showed that parents who talked with their children specifically about race while watching multicultural themed videos resulted in an improvement in their children’s racial attitudes. Children who only watched the videos without the accompanying parental discussion showed no improvement.
However, adults are often very uncomfortable to bring up race issues. In one study on children under age six, Dr. Phyllis Katz reflected on parental attitudes, saying, “Even though they were participating in a study about children’s understanding of race, many White parents preferred to believe that talking about race would cause their children to see racial differences that they hadn’t noticed before, and many Black parents simply thought that their children were too young at that point to talk about race.” It is clear that parents and childcare providers need additional training and tools to help them gain comfort in talking about race with young children.
● American Psychologist, "Racists or Tolerant Multiculturalists? How Do They Begin?" by Phylis Katz
● Exploring the Influences of Educational Television and Parent-Child by Birgitte Vittrup Simpson
● Newsweek, "See Baby Discriminate" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
● New York Times, "The Danger of Not Talking to Your Children About Race" by KJ Dell'Antonia
 Katz, Phylis. “Racists or Tolerant Multiculturalists? How Do They Begin?” American Psychologist, Vol 58(11), Nov 2003, pg. 897-909.
 Vittrup, Birgitte. “Exploring the Influences of Educational Television and Parent-Child Discussions on Improving Children’s Racial Attitudes.” Ph.D. dissertation. University of Texas Austin. 2007.
 Tatum, Beverly. Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria. Basic Books. 1997. pg 36