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Talking with Kids about Race Program Series

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Talking with Kids about Race Program Series

San Francisco Public Library, Calif.

Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion | 2017

Innovation Summary

Talking with Kids about Race" is a series of programs designed by the library in partnership with several community organizations to provide parents, caregivers and educators tools to address issues of race, racism, racial bias, privilege, police brutality and other related, relevant topics with the youth in their lives.

Problem Statement

Young people are exposed to issues surrounding race, racism, bias, privilege and more in their daily lives, the media, and even throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Parents and caregivers are often left explaining difficult topics to their children while still trying to understand them themselves. Adults need tools to help them reflect on their own backgrounds and experiences as well as how best to discuss these important, complex topics with young people in their lives.


Talking with Kids about Race" is an ongoing program series, two programs occurred spring 2017, with more planned in 2017-2018. Programs were produced by the library in partnership with several community-based organizations dedicated to youth, families and racial and social justice. Free childcare and translation services were offered. Opportunity for the library to serve a vital community need of working toward justice, equity and inclusiveness and to build strong partnerships with community organizations.


Our initial programs were highly successful – in attendance, engagement and accolades. At the first workshop (148 adults/40 children), caregivers reflected on their understanding of race and learned developmentally supportive language to use with youth. During the second program (140 adults/30 children), Librarian of Congress Director Carla Hayden and a diverse group of speakers addressed: Raising Safe, Informed & Engaged Kids. Post-program surveys indicated attendees highly valued these programs and wanted more.