Racial Injustice: Teaching Complex Issues

Teachers have a unique opportunity to engage students in exploring the complex issue of racial injustice. Students need a space to explore their feelings and reflect on what is happening, why it is happening, and what they can do to create positive change.

Educators may be looking for resources they can lean on as they navigate these complex issues with their students who understandably have a variety of feelings about what is taking place in our country. I’ve curated the list of resources below to support teachers as they consider the best ways to talk about racial injustice with students.

The Teaching Tolerance website has a collection of ready-to-use classroom lessons and resources that span a range of social justice topics and issues while prioritizing social-emotional learning.

The Teaching Tolerance website includes lessons, texts, tasks, and teaching strategies teachers can use to guide students in exploring and discussing social justice topics.

Lessons include:

  • Lesson objectives
  • Essential questions
  • Materials–teaching strategies, handouts, and texts
  • Key vocabulary
  • Procedure

The Teaching for Black Lives website published a resource titled Materials from Teaching for Black Lives/Rethinking Schools for Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action.

  • Making Black Lives Matter in Our Schools
  • What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party–but Should
  • Black Muslim Meet-and-Greet: Rethinking Islamophobia
  • Collection of articles (e.g., “A Talk to Teachers” by James Baldwin and “Black is Beautiful” by Kara Hinderlie)

The Center for Racial Justice in Education has a collection of resources to guide conversations about race, racism, and racialized violence. The website includes:

  • Interviews and advice from experts
  • Resources list
  • Articles

The D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice website has a collection of resources for educators. The resources are organized by:

Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon and Colorful Pages created K-8 Distance Learning Activities designed to help students to understand and process the Black Lives Matter Movement, racial injustice, and the murder of George Floyd. Parents and teachers can use these resources.

The Student Ignition Society published a resource titled Ending Police Brutality: At-Home Family Action Toolkit. It has a collection of creative and artistic activities for kids, including an advocacy poem, talking points for families, and collage activity.

If educators have found other valuable resources to help students to understand and process the events taking place in our country right now, please take a moment to post a comment and share resources.