Talking about Race with Kids Right Now - 510 Families
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Talking about Race with Kids Right Now

Dr Allison Briscoe-SmithWe are excited to share a guest post from Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith, East Bay mother of three and a child psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race. We’re also excited to learn that she discovered her family’s new favorite beach, Mori Point, by reading our site. It takes a village!

Be sure to check out the details on Dr. Briscoe-Smith’s class beginning in October, 2020: Parenting in Uncertain Times.

swing at mori point 3 kids
Swinging together at Mori Point, Pacifica | Photo: Allison Briscoe-Smith

How to talk about race right now?

I’m a child psychologist who specializes in exactly this question. The urgency and frequency of the requests I’m getting from parents to address this question are unparalleled in my career.  From “How can I be anti-racist?” to “How do I explain what’s going on to my child?” the questions are important and daunting.

Perhaps more important than my role as a child psychologist is my role as a mother of three Black, mixed-race children. I, too, am seeking the very same answers.  The good news is that there are many wonderful resources. Tons of ways of learning, engaging and getting help. But- I think we are all suffering from resource overload as well. I know if I get another giant spreadsheet with distance learning resources I may pull my hair out.

In community with other parents I’ve assembled a short list of places to go to get support on this central question of how to talk about race with our children. The first I’d point you to is Embrace Race.  They have well curated resources, webinars, tip sheets, and links. Embrace Race’s work centers parents of color, specifically, and has lots more available for all families, in general.

For specific guidance on anti-racist parenting, I’d direct you to Britt Hawthorne.  She is an educator, focusing on early child development and montessori methods. She’s a Black mom and has a lot of concrete resources to help start the conversation and has recently provided a class on anti-racist parenting with another amazing educator and author, Tiffany Jewell, and is sure to do it again. There are also three accounts that I follow on Instagram that offer short, easily digestible support for both parenting in the context of race and parenting littles in general: @latinxparenting, @curious.parenting and also @raisinggoodhumanspodcast.

So, while this time can be overwhelming, it’s also an opportunity. There are no excuses- no lack of places to learn, to be in dialogue and to grow.

Summary of Resources to Talk about Race with Children

I’d love to hear from you and find out what are you using. Hit me up at, or @allisonbriscoesmith on Instagram.

Thank you again for sharing Dr. Briscoe-Smith. Be sure to check out the details on Dr. Briscoe-Smith’s class beginning in October, 2020: Parenting in Uncertain Times.

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2 thoughts on “Talking about Race with Kids Right Now”

  1. SIP and bad AQI has exacerbated racial hostilities in Berkeley. White parents excluded my Arab, Persian, and Latina daughter Salima from their pod and forbade their nanny, my closest friend, from socializing with us. When another white friend passed on a playdate and got a hotel room to escape the hot, smoky air, she didn’t invite us to visit. This would never have happened in Lebanon, where our relatives and friends are starving due to the fatal port blast and nobody in Berkeley seems to care. Their Arab Lives Don’t Matter.

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