With Black Lives Matter protests continuing in cities across the U.S. in the aftermath of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, PBS Kids is hosting a special event for parents on talking with children about racism and how to engage in "authentic" conversations with littles ones on such important and pressing matters.
On Tuesday, June 9, at 3:30 p.m. EST, PBS Kids will host a live panel event for parents to discuss how to talk to your kids about racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. Distressing footage of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in May after being pinned under several Minneapolis police officers, one of whom knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe, was met with disgust and outrage, sparking nationwide protests calling for justice and long overdue change.
As conversations about racism and police violence remain top of mind for families across the country, PBS Kids will help unpack these issues. Tuesday's event will feature several parents, educators, and experts in the field of child development and trauma giving tips and advice on how to talk with young kids about the very real issue of racism in America.
"Together, we’ll explore questions such as: How can parents of Black children continue to instill confidence and pride in young kids while also explaining the racial inequity and barriers that continue today? And, how can parents of non-Black children help young kids understand their role in confronting anti-Black racism?" PBS Kids said in an announcement for the event.
Experts who will be sitting in on the panel include Jamal Berry, deputy directory at Educare DC, Dr. Renée Wilson-Simmons, executive director of Adverse Childhood Experience, and Dr. Dana Winters, faculty director of Academic Programs at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. Parents who have questions for the experts can register here and the program will be available to watch shortly after it is filmed on PBS Kids' YouTube channel.
This event from PBS Kids is just one of many resources available to parents who want to talk to their kids about racism. Over the weekend, Sesame Street partnered with CNN to host a town hall about racism called Coming Together: Standing Up To Racism, which parents and kids can watch here.
Explaining the ugliness of racism to children is a tough talk to have, for sure, but it's necessary. For Black parents who want to protect their children from the reality of the world they're living in, and for non-Black parents who want to raise children who will be allies and helpers against racial injustice. Racism is real, and raising the next generation to be a force for change is one of the most important tools we have right now.