My son, nine years old and in third grade, asked me why George Floyd was killed and why so many people were protesting. I asked him what he knew about racism and his answer was, “Well, it happened a long time ago, during slavery and also when black and white people were treated differently. But now we are all the same, so I don’t know.”

I’ve never spoken to either of my children about what to do, and what not to do, if they see a police officer. I am ashamed of the omissions my privilege has allowed me to make, and I share it here because I’m sure I am not alone.

What, then, should be happening in schools around the country? How can teachers help families with these difficult conversations? It is safe to say that America is at a boiling point, and equally safe to say that we have been here before. To create lasting change, we must sustain this anti-racist work beyond the heat of the moment. Teachers, schools and school systems are critical parts of this change.

In my work as a parent, teacher, teacher-educator and equity consultant, I have grappled with how to live and work in a deliberately anti-racist way. To do this work effectively, I have found six things that guide my approach.

  1. Understand what white privilege and white supremacy mean.
  2. Be curious, and ask good questions
  3. Teach about black lives beyond Black History Month.
  4. each that change starts locally.
  5. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
  6. Admit mistakes.

Read the full article about ways to teach race in schools by Jennifer Rich at The Hechinger Report.