As the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin begins, I am struggling to find the right words to say that are beyond platitudes. There is so much uncertainty and trepidation I feel about the outcome of the trial, and I have great concern that it will be George Floyd’s life and not Derek Chauvin’s actions on trial in the coming weeks. Like so much of the past year, I am navigating the tension of both/and and the in-between: I hope that justice will be served for George Floyd, and I fear that the deep-rooted racism that exists in our criminal justice system will prevail. I believe in Dr. King’s words that the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice, and yet I wonder if I will see that arc of justice in my lifetime. I believe that our children and youth have incredible resilience and the power to be the change we want to see in this world, and I worry about the impact of the racial trauma and divisiveness of this time will have on their sense of agency and hope for their own futures.
One thing I do know for certain, however, is that AMAZEworks is here to support you. During what we know will be an intense time in our country, we have curated an extensive list of resources to support children and their caregivers regarding the trial. You can view this list below and also on our Resource Hub. We hope these resources will help you navigate the challenging and incredibly necessary and important conversations with children of all ages on race, racism, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s death, and the Chauvin trial.
Navigating conversations about race and racism:
- AMAZEworks Book Lessons for Caregivers and Educators: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Children And Youth On Race, Racism, And Discrimination, Ages 3-12
- AMAZEworks Video Lessons for Caregivers and Educators: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Children And Youth On Race, Racism, And Discrimination, Ages 11 and up
- AMAZEworks Black Lives Matter Lesson
- Let’s Talk – Learning for Justice
Understanding Racial Trauma, George Floyd’s Death, and the Derek Chauvin Trial
- Reflecting On George Floyd’s Death And Police Violence Towards Black Americans Guide – Facing History and Ourselves
- George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement (in English and en Español) – Anti-Defamation League Table Talk Guide
- MN Daily “In the Know” podcast Episode 21: Explaining the Derek Chauvin Trial
- Teaching for Black Lives – Rethinking Schools
- A great resource for middle/high school educators (or caregivers) to use to inspire youth activism, create a windows/mirrors experience and be able to connect history and current events in context.
- Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma – Kenneth V. Hardy
- Resources For Talking About Race, Racism And Racialized Violence With Kids – Center for Racial Justice Education
- University of Minnesota Community Resource: Recommendations and Resources for Supporting Students Before, During, and After the Chauvin Trial
- How to Talk About Traumatic Events and Tragedies (MDE)
- Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (NCTSN)
- Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events (NIMH)
- What To Say To Kids When The News Is Scary (NPR)
- Resources to Help Educators, Adults Respond to Racism, Violence and Trauma webpage
Books for Young People:
- This Book is Anti-Racist – By Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Aurélia Durand ; Written for teens and a helpful companion to having discussions around racism. It includes sections on identity, how to make sense of history, taking action, and working in solidarity.
- Stamped From the Beginning – By Ibram X. Kendi (for older teens and adults) and Stamped (For Kids) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (for elementary/ealy middle school but not being released until May); A book to help in the relearning/learning of the history of racism in order to make the connection to present-day.
- We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices by Wade Hudson (Editor) and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor); “Fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators–including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander–share answers to the question, ‘In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?’ in this beautiful, full-color keepsake collection, published in partnership with Just Us Books.”
- Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Dave Zirin; “Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for young people who want to make a difference, a memoir, and a book as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.”
- We Are the Change; “Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book.”
- Children in our World Racism and Intolerance by Louise A. Spilsbury (Author), Hanane Kai (Illustrator); “In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: “What does it mean to be a racist–or intolerant?” and “How can I help?” Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.”
- Story Time w/Kayla; This is a read aloud of Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Baby that can be a resource for elementary-aged children.
Resources for social-emotional/self-care support:
- The Calm Room – Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative
Image source: Veer