After I had written the article on racial bias yesterday I asked Liselle to write a paragraph to insert into the article – what she wrote deserves it’s own post:
I remember having conversations with a few parents about the subject of race and color. It is very sad to say, but discrimination is very much alive today! Sometimes it works out for one person, and other times, it does not. Either way, it’s simply unfair.
In our class, each time we made self-portraits, we talked briefly about the color of our skin. In my experience, when I ask children what color their skin is, they usually choose the color of MY skin. Children look at adults like heroes, they want to be just like us and they want to be just as able as we are. This is the most important window of a responsible adult… this is our teaching moment! I simply ask the children, “Is that really the color of your skin? Let’s see?” I then hold up the colors of the paper, and we all choose our real matching skin-colored paper. We then hold the papers near each other and I say, “Aren’t the colors wonderful? Can you imagine if we were all the same color? Can you imagine if everyone and everything around us was just one color. Hmm, let’s think about that.”
The kiddos come up with the most interesting things, but together, we come to the conclusion that the world is wonderful because of our similarities AND our differences. As an adult, I really aim to help our kiddos understand that different is not “weird, strange, ugly, or funny” it’s simply different. And that’s ok!