Staff Picks: Resources on Race to Promote Healing, Understanding, Community and Action

Following is a list of resources identified by our staff to help all those who love and lead children, families and communities every day. The topic of racism brings up so many ideas and emotions that we can be overwhelmed and even question our power and role to do anything about it. We want you to know that you are not in this alone! We’re here for you!

The focus of each resource may vary. We’ve tried to provide a wide range of options including raising awareness, building relationships, healing from wounds, educating children, confronting personal bias, assessing curricula, and/or more. The list will grow, but will never be able to contain all the resources available.

In addition to this list, please use our team members as resources, because their top priority is healthy growth for children and those who love and lead them.


SiteResources Available
Leap Early Learning Partners (Professional Development Page)

Contact us with your name, county, program-type and email address to be added to our mailing list, and we’ll let you know when the next trainings are scheduled!
Arriving Summer, 2020: At least four new trainings on supporting dual language learners as well as new training on Social Justice and Personal Bias.
Also available: PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) to support teachers and administrators and their classroom and program goals.


Resource Details
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
The Danger of a Single Story
An African author’s exploration of her love of reading as a child and the impact of the books available to her. A wonderful guide for us to examine the stories we were told, and the stories we tell the children in our lives.
Daryl Davis:
Klan We Talk
One of a few Daryl Davis Ted Talks, and they are all worth hearing! Daryl is a jazz musician who also happens to be African American, and he carried a question from 10 years of age – “How can you hate me if you don’t know me?” As an adult, he formed a number of close relationships with KKK members and has developed deep understanding to that question and has seen surprising outcomes along the way.
Anthony Peterson:
What I am Learing From
My White Grandchildren – Truths About Race
Peterson, a professor of psychology and a grandfather, reflects on confusing and missing information in our world on the topic of race. He discusses why it is important to talk about race with young children – they’re already thinking about it! For example, why do we say brown people are black and pink people are white? In a very simple way, he lays out his fundamental argument: “Race isn’t real, but race does matter.”
The RSA:
Brené Brown
on Empathy
An animated short set to a talk on true empathy – an essential skill for anyone who wants to show love and respect for others.
PBS Frontline
A Class Divided
This hour-long special from 1985 documents a third-grade teacher’s attempt to teach her students about discrimination through a social experiment in 1968. The experiment is repeated with adults, and participants talk about their experiences. We’ve used this video in training, and it’s opened many meaningful conversations.
Doll test – The effects of racism on children
An old, American study on views on race among children is done with Italian children with similar results.
Phil Vischer:
Holy Post –
Race in America
Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales, explains the history of race in America and why Black Americans continue to face injustice today.
Beau of the Fifth Column:
Let’s talk about a lesson from the University of Florida for all of us….
Yes, we realize watching this means you need to see a University of Florida shirt and listen to a good bit of praise for UF, but we still think it’s worth your 7 1/2 minutes to think about the power of words and of small changes.
Emmanuel Acho: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black ManEmmanual Acho is a former NFL player and current NFL analyst. Mr. Acho’s aim has been to build bridges and see long-lasting solutions to racial disunity. This newly launched series begins with a monologue and leads into conversations with various guests.

Good Reads for Adults

Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families by Kirsten Cole & Diandra Verwayne
A scholarly look at racism from two educators in Brooklyn, NY. The authors provide classroom scenarios, definitions while exploring anxieties adults have on the subject. Practical ideas are shared, as well as resource links.
The Players’ Tribune
“Privileged” by Kyle Korver
An NBA veteran reflects on his life and understanding of racism and privilege in response to events in the lives of his teammates.
Business Insider
“25 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem in America” by Shayanne Gal, Andy Kiersz, Michelle Mark and Ruobing Su
Featuring data from public and private data sources, this is just a selection of charts showing the differences affecting many aspects of Americans’ lives depending on their race and ethnicity.
“Books to Read for a Better Understanding of Systemic Racism, Whiteness and the Black Experience”
We haven’t read all these, but we’re grateful for the resource!

Good Reads for Children

These books feature people of color in all sorts of situations. If you’re wondering how important that is, we recommend watching The Danger of a Single Story from our recommended video list.

Also, for this and all other topics, please remember that you should review any media (book, show, movie, etc.) before you share it with children to make sure that it fits the experience you want your children to have based on where they are, developmentally.

TitleAge Description
Hair Love by Mathew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
4-8 yrs.
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison4-8 yrs.Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.
Daddy Calls Me Man by Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell3-5 yrs.Inspired by his family experiences and his parents’ paintings, a young boy creates four poems. In four vibrant verses and spectacular oil paintings, a young boy revels in the everyday pleasures of growing up in a family of fine artists. A still life of shoes inspires Noah to measure his own little ones against the big ones of his father. The whirl of an abstract painting encourages him to spin with his older sister. The moon outside his window is the same one that glows on his mother’s canvas. But the subject that brings out the best in Noah — and inspires his daddy to call him a man — has her crib right there in his parents’ studio. With its bold colors and arresting perspectives, this book is a celebration of art and an exaltation of family.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz4-8 yrs.Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.
Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, Illustrated by Caroline Binch4-8 yrs.Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn’t black. With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!
Corduroy by Don Freeman2+ yrs.Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1968. This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez3+ yrs.Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, Illustrated by Christian Robinson3+ yrs.Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews4+ yrs.Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
John Henry by Julius Lester, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney4+ yrs.When John Henry was born the birds, bears, rabbits, and even a unicorn came to see him. He grew so fast, he burst right through the porch roof, and laughed so loud, he scared the sun! Soon John Henry is swinging two huge sledgehammers to build roads, pulverizing boulders, and smashing rocks to smithereens. He’s stronger than ten men and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill. Nothing can stop John Henry, and his courage stays with us forever.
Littles And How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by AG Ford
0-3 yrs.This book has adorable scenes from the busy life of a baby—including peekaboo, feedings, tantrums, giggles—and a final scene that reminds us how they become big kids all too soon.
Ten, Nine, Eight By Molly Bang0-3 yrs.This is a sweet counting book that showcases the bond between a father and daughter getting ready for bed. Little ones will love counting down from ten to one.
Kindness Makes Us Strong By Sophie Beer0-3 yrs.Kindness is a friendly hello. A roaring cheer. A quick boost. Kindness is what makes us strong! This joyful board book shows various children as they extend kindness in all kinds of situations: on the playground, at lunchtime, on a bike path, and on a neighborhood street. This sweet read-aloud shows the way kindness helps build friendship and community.
Peekaboo Morning By Rachel Isadora0-3 yrs.Join this sweet toddler in the morning fun, sharing words your baby can repeat and pictures your baby will recognize.
Antiracist Baby By Ibram X. Kendi, Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky0-3 yrs.With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.
Everywhere Babies By Susan Meyers, Illustrated by Marla Frazee0-3 yrs.Every day, everywhere, babies are born. They’re kissed and dressed and rocked and fed–and completely adored by the families that love them. This board book is an exuberant celebration of playing, sleeping, crawling, and, of course, very noisy babies doing all the wonderful things babies do best.
I Can Do It Too! By Karen Baicker, Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max1-3 yrs.This heartwarming story reminds us how satisfying it is to grow up surrounded by love. I Can Do It Too! affirms a little girl’s growing independence as she, too, can begin to do all the things she sees her parents, relatives and neighbors do: pouring juice at breakfast, strumming a guitar, and even riding a bike!
It’s Okay to Be Different By Todd Parr3-6 yrs.This book cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format. Designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, and promote character growth. It will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence–and it’s never too early to develop a healthy self-esteem.
M is for Melanin By Tiffany Rose3-6 yrs.An empowering alphabet book that teaches kids their ABCs and celebrates Black children. Each letter of the alphabet contains affirming, Black-positive messages, from A is for Afro, to F is for Fresh, to W is for Worthy. This book teaches children their ABCs while encouraging them to love the skin that they’re in.
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga By Traci Sorell, Illustrated by Frane Lessac3-7 yrs.The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Jabari Jumps By Gaia Cornwall4-8 yrs.Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. A tale of overcoming your fears, this book captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for. Includes themes of overcoming fear, courage, family, water safety, positive affirmations, encouragement, patience and determination.
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family By Ibtihaj Muhammad, S. K. Ali, Illustrated by Hatem Aly4-8 yrs.An inspiring story about self-acceptance, confidence, family, courage and being proud of who you are despite what others think or say.
I Am Brown By Ashok Banker, Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat4-8 yrs.A joyful celebration of the skin you’re in―of being brown, of being amazing, of being you.
Saturday By Oge Mora4-8 yrs.Saturdays are for…(you fill in the blank). Little Ava loves Saturdays because it’s the one day of the week when her mother doesn’t have to work. This Saturday is an extra special one because Ava and her mother are going to a one-night only puppet show. But first, they have plans to attend story time at the library, get their hair done at a salon and have a picnic in the park. Their special day doesn’t turn out as well as they hoped it would at all. It’s a wonderful story about bonding, family, and how to handle situations when things don’t go as planned.
Bilal Cooks Daal By Aisha Saeed, Illustrated by Anoosha Syed4-8 yrs.Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does? This picture book uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.
This Is How We Do It By Matt Lamothe5+ yrs.Follow the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day! In Japan, Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda, Daphine likes to jump rope. While the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them.
Ada Twist, Scientist By Andrea Beaty, Illustrated David Roberts4-7 yrs.Inspired by real-life makers Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, this beloved #1 bestseller champions STEM, girl power and women scientists in a rollicking celebration of curiosity, the power perseverance, and the importance of asking “Why?” The book is the perfect tool to remind both young girls and women that they have the intelligence and perseverance to achieve their dream.
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez By Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts4-7 yrs.Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia (aka Sofi) misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.
Julia Inserro
70+ BIPOC Children’s Books To Add to Your Library
4-8 yrs.Many more recommendations can be found here!

Curricula and Activities

Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (PDF)

Click here for standard rationale and examples.
Standard CD-SS1: The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her family and an emerging awareness of his/her own culture and ethnicity.
Standard CD-SS2: The child will demonstrate an understanding of his/her community and an emerging awareness of others’ cultures and ethnicity.
Standard CD-SS4: The child will demonstrate an awareness of economics in his/her community.
Standard CD-SS5: The child will understand the passage of time and how events are related.
Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism
Articles, videos, book recommendations and more!
Autism Little Learners
Explaining Peaceful Protests Vs. Violence and Looting
A printable pdf social story in English or Spanish
Our Children, Our Workforce: Why We Must Talk About Racism in Early Childhood Education by Kelly Matthews and Ijumaa Jordan
Free article covering some historical events in systemic racism as well as it’s affect on children, today. Practical ideas for action are included.