Children are attentive
The last days were overshadowed by the death of the African American George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. He died after a police operation. This is not the first incident of racist police violence in the USA. Large sections of the population, not only in the USA, are shocked. Many are protesting, also here in Germany. Children are getting to know that something is happening. It is only natural that they ask questions and want to know how such acts can happen. After all, racism and the violence associated with it are not phenomena that are limited to the USA.
What can I do?
Babies and toddlers do not think in pigeonholes; only when they grow older do they become aware of social structures and stereotypes. This is unavoidable. Talk to your children about why the drawers and the prejudices associated with them are dangerous. Educate your child about why certain statements and actions are racist. Racism is also found in children's book classics. Here you can specifically point this out and also show why it is not correct. It is helpful if your child's environment offers many points of contact with different people. Perhaps through intercultural meeting places or through the sports club. The media your child uses can also help to bring about a critical examination of prejudices. Choose films and books with as many protagonists as possible.
It is important that we listen to and learn from people with racist experiences. We must question our attitudes and be aware of our privileges. It is not a question of being prejudiced overnight, but of working on ourselves more and more.
We have collected videos, materials and books for you to use as a parent but also as an educator to sensitize children to the issue of racism.
- Logo! has summarized in a short video what racism actually is: https://www.zdf.de/kinder/logo/logo-erklaert-rassismus-100.html
- How prejudice turns into discrimination and what we can do about it is the subject of this video by Amnesty Switzerland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZraVnTZedlU
- The participants of an experiment of quarks have shown how moral courage works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di4KDehaYJw
- Constanze von Kitzing reads from her book "I am different from you - I am like you": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv8MCVMG5c8
- The GEW has summarised how educators can deal with the topic: https://www.gew.de/fileadmin/media/publikationen/hv/Schule/Unterrichtseinheiten/IKR_GEW_Unterrichtsmaterialien_neu_Webversion.pdf
- The Institute has also collected materials for the situational approach to education and training for educators: https://situationsansatz.de/fachstelle-kinderwelten.html?fbclid=IwAR2b2Spw1eakh1CqetZVosMBXFR1-6pK2ICdvcUUaI3dVmBb8UNRY0CS5Jw
- Because adults also want and should learn a lot about racism, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency has answered a few frequently asked questions: https://www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de/DE/ThemenUndForschung/Ethnische_Herkunft/Themenjahr_2014/fragen_antworten_Rassismus/faq_rassismus_node.html
- How we as adults can set an example for our children by resolutely opposing racism in everyday life was collected by Caritas: https://www.caritas.de/neue-caritas/heftarchiv/jahrgang2013/artikel/rassismus-im-alltagund-was-man-dagegen
- For more variety and identification possibilities in the children's room, the Tebalou Shop offers a selection: https://tebalou.shop/?fbclid=IwAR2YnFSGFnDTWfo6-RedFhYGe6JGfB_zgJnW6HwikpkMlVhOqT-lCIj53kl
- In the "Little People, BIG DREAMS" series of the Insel Verlag, books about Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Anne Frank and Maya Angelou have been published among many others. These books are suitable for younger children to read to, but also for older children to read to themselves: https://www.suhrkamp.de/little_people_big_dreams_kinderbuch-reihe_im_insel_verlag_1527.html
- The blog buuu.ch has collected books about otherness: https://buuu.ch/tag/anders-sein/
- Further recommendations for picture and children's books that raise awareness of racism have been published by the Buchkind blog: https://buchkind-blog.de/bilderbuch-kinderbuch-gegen-rassismus-fuer-toleranz/
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