Human Rights Graduate Program Institute for Humane Education

8 Resources for Teaching About Unconscious Bias

by Marsha Rakestraw We all have biases. We’ve heard many times that those biases are an evolutionary adaptation that helped us survive, but even after these thousands of years, we haven’t yet learned to recognize and overcome many of our unconscious (and conscious) biases related to race, gender, disability, age, geography, and even species. Research…

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Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression. On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people…

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4 Video Resources for Exploring Race, Racism, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions

by Marsha Rakestraw Talking about race, racism, and institutional oppression can be challenging, especially when many white people are feeling defensive, uncomfortable, and confused. Videos, including those using humor, can be a great tool for introducing tough-to-talk-about conversations, and a meaningful catalyst for exploring what can be subtle, complex issues. Here are four resources that…

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books

9 Resources for Finding Multicultural Books for Children

by Marsha Rakestraw According to the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, “black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students will together make up a narrow majority of the nation’s public school students,” yet the number of children’s books that feature characters of color are shamefully sparse. Studies show that having multicultural literature…

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Children wearing handprint t-shirts and raising their arms high

14 Children’s Picture Books Exploring Race and Racism

by Marsha Rakestraw Studies show that children can learn racially-biased behaviors as young as three and learn to categorize people by race (non-verbally) at as young as six months. Yet we’re often reluctant to talk about race, or we pretend that being “color blind” is the least harmful choice. It’s vital that we as parents…

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Different kinds of Lego people lined up in rows on a grey surface

Where Are the People Like Me?

Students assess examples of  media (catalogs, magazines, books, etc.) to consider who is (and isn’t represented) and to explore the impact of lack of diversity in media and their own rich experiences with diversity. Recommended for grades 4-10. Time: 45-60 minutes

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Resources: Mouse vs. Zucchini

Mouse vs. Zucchini: A Lesson on Perspective

Using a brief video featuring a mouse and a zucchini on a kitchen counter, students will consider the issue of perspective and discover and think about the perspectives of other people and of nonhuman animals. Recommended for grades 2-7. Time: 30 minutes

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A group of preschool-aged children playing with a parachute

Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves

by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards NAEYC, 2010 184 pgs How we set the tone about anti-bias in our classrooms and learning centers can influence the entire year — and possibly the whole of children’s lives. Children learn at an early age about differences in race, gender, ability, economic situation, sexual orientation, culture, and more,…

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Resources: What's in a name

What’s in a Name?

“You’re such a pig!” “She’s a total dog!” Help students examine our myths about and prejudices against animals, to explore why they exist, and to consider what we might want to change about our relationships with them. Recommended for grades 6 and up. Time: 45 minutes   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download…

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