Reading Rockets–NEA Guide

Talking About Racism and Violence: Resources for Educators and Families

The following resources can help promote deeper understanding around the issues of racism and violence. They also can contribute to discussion of these topics with colleagues and students during this difficult time, even at a distance.

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Being sensitive to trauma

Discussion of the following topics may be traumatic for students. Educators are encouraged to seek guidance in trauma-informed practices in preparation for discussions related to these topics. Learn more from these resources and those below.

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Articles and resources about current events

The following resources and updates address the events and aftermath following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

Lesson Plans

PBS NewsHour Extra / Share My Lesson

See additional lessons related to Social Issues from NewsHour Extra.

Other Recommended Lesson Plans


Communication and Conversation

Multimedia / social media

Kojo For Kids: Jason Reynolds Talks About Racism And The Protests

Best-selling YA author Jason Reynolds has grappled with racism personally and in his writing. The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature also recently co-authored a book for young people on fighting racism: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Public radio host Kojo Nnamdi, based at WAMU in Washington, DC, asked Jason Reynolds to join this edition of Kojo For Kids to help listenders understand what has led to the tensions we’ve seen over the last week, and to talk about why racism persists and what we can do to build a less racist society.

Authors Organize Kit Lit Rally for Black Lives on Facebook (School Library Journal)

Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and Jacqueline Woodson organized a Kit Lit Rally for Black Lives on The Brown Bookshelf. The Rally featured inspiring words, music, and numerous calls to action in support of equity and justice. A list of recommended anti-racist materials has also been compiled as part of the rally.

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How to talk about violence

Understanding the Impact of Racism and Violence on Mental Health

Tips for Talking about Violence

Talking about Tough Topics in the News

See more parent resources on talking race and racism below.

Note: If you are connecting with your students remotely, this resource guide for virtual circles of concern offers tips for managing conversations about difficult topics in distance learning settings.

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Classroom resources: teaching about racism and violence

Resources: Racism and Violence

Tulsa Race Massacre: 1921

Lesson Plans

Articles and Blogs

Resources: More about Race and Racism

Teaching about Juneteenth

Talking About Race: National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture has just launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture. The online portal provides digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more than 100 multi-media resources tailored for educators, parents and caregivers—and individuals committed to racial equality. The museum moved up the launch date due to the number of racially charged incidents in recent weeks.

Articles and Multimedia

Reflecting on Perspective

Teaching Tolerance Resources

Jane Elliott's "Blue Eye/Brown Eye" Exercise

Culturally Responsive Practice

This collection of culturally responsive resources include a wide range of topics related to honoring students' identities and experiences, addressing bias in schools and classrooms, and digging into the hard work of personal reflection and action.

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Recommended reading for students

Talking about Race


Books for Young People

Guidance on Choosing and Using Books

Racial Injustice and Violence

These books can serve as powerful mirrors and windows alike. While the majority of these books are written for a young adult audience, the first book is written for children. These books can also provide valuable perspectives for adults.

Learn More:

Finding Diverse Books: Mirrors and Windows

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Books and resources for adults

Race and Education

See more titles in this Race and Education booklist from Social Justice Books.

Race and Racism


See more:

Additional Resources

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"Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear." —

Judy Blume