Listen above or on Apple Podcasts.
In this episode of The PrinciPALS Podcast, Jij and Emma discuss the importance of talking to kids about race. Join them to unpack common fears around discussing race and bias, including the role socialization plays, and explore studies on kids and race. Listeners will also get tips to help them feel more prepared for these necessary conversations.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s anti-bias education website
- Sesame Workshop’s Identity Matters study
- NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
- PBS Utah’s Let’s Talk: Talking to Kids About Race
- Lisa Delpit
- Louise Derman-Sparks
- Robin DiAngelo
The transcript of this episode appears below.
Conor Bentley (00:01):
From Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah...
Jij de Jesus (00:04):
I'm Jij de Jesus.
Emma Wellman (00:06):
And I'm Emma Wellman.
And they're the princiPALS.
I'm Conor Bentley and on today's episode of princiPALS, we'll be talking about how to talk to kids about race.
On The PrinciPALS Podcast, we tackle big questions and share big ideas about how to raise excellent humans.
Emma, Jij, thank you so much for having me back in the princiPALS' office today. It's good to see you.
Good to see you.
Good to see you too.
So our driving question for today's episode is: how can parents and caregivers talk about race with their kids? And I just wanted to say, you know, this is a topic that I've been thinking about, and I gotta say, it was kind of giving me a little bit of anxiety as we were preparing for this week's episode and talking about race.
Tell us more about that.
Well, I just think it's kind of a topic that is, it's fraught, you know? And I think there's a lot of things around race that people don't want to talk about. And I think there's sort of this stigma that we can't talk about it, or we have to be perfect and we can't make any mistakes, and we need to be so careful about what we say when we talk about it. And I think that kind of gives you a little anxiety because you don't want to say the wrong thing, you don't want to offend anyone. And I think that that's probably one of the reasons why people don't talk more about it.
Conor, I think you're totally spot on and, you know, a lot of the things you just spoke to are the things we're going to talk about just now, right, Emma?
Mm-hmm. Before we jump in, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that what we're talking about today may land differently depending on the racial identity that our listeners have. And so we're excited about that. We want folks to find things that are useful. But depending on your lived experience and your racial group, you may have different reactions to this. And that's great.
So, you know, because this is such an important topic, we're going to address it in three steps. We'll start off with why it matters and why it's hard. Then we'll dig into some research related to talking about race with young children. And then from there, we'll do the homework and share some strategies, both in general and in the moment, when we're thinking about talking about race with kids.
So, I guess, why is it so important to talk about race? I mean, I think we agree that it is important, but why?
Yeah. So, you know, let's think about kids. And I think that's what we always do as educators and as parents and caregivers. So, children are naturally curious and they're constantly trying to understand the world around them, and their brains are observing, sorting, categorizing, associating, connecting. So we as the grown-ups who care about them have this great responsibility and privilege to help them in that process of sense-making. And, you know, how do we do that? We give them words and language and ideas and frameworks and values to help them make sense of what their brain is naturally doing and what they're observing around them. So, you know, it's: that's a truck, and that tree has green leaves, or that's a Conor. Or: look someone in the eyes when you say hi to them. Right? So we do that in so many contexts and related to so many things and issues and ideas, but we don't do that very often about race. And kids are noticing race and racial differences all the time, and they're getting messages about race and racial differences all the time, so it's our job as grown-ups to positively and proactively give them messages about race too. And we do that by talking about race and racial differences, and giving them words and language and ideas and values to help them make sense of it. And I think talking about race helps kids to see difference and race as something beautiful, something to be celebrated, and it, you know, builds skills like kindness, compassion, empathy, awareness, cultural competence in our children that eventually will help them become great humans.
And, you know, this is not just a thing for kids, too, right? These are all things, kindness, compassion, empathy, that are skills that we hope grown-ups and adults are working on and thinking about as well. And none of these skills is just sort of a check the box, we're done with it, right? This is all part of a process of growth and development and learning. So I think that's why it's important.
So if it is so important, why don't we do it more often? What gets in the way of having these conversations about race and cultural differences and things?
So there are a number of things, in my experience and in the reading that I've done, that seem to get in the way. And the first thing I want to talk about is this notion of implicit bias based on race. Implicit biases are attitudes that we all have, all of us, but we don't know that we have them, and they're about groups of people, and they affect how we view and interact with these other people. Sometimes these implicit biases run exactly counter to the explicit views that we have, which is one of the reasons they can be so hard for us to become aware of and then tackle. So for example, imagine a manager who believes that men and women are equally equipped to take on leadership roles, but who chooses not to invite a woman who has young children to apply for a promotion, but does invite a man who has young children to apply. The implicit assumption is that that woman is not currently interested in such an opportunity because her priorities are maybe with her young children at home.
And by the way, if when I said manager, you thought about a 40-year-old white dude in a suit, congratulations, you've got implicit bias too.
Ooh, I might've done that.
I did too.
That's how it works. We have an association between the word manager and a particular-looking person who happens to be male and has a certain kind of haircut, probably brown hair, right? Like, there's a whole lot in there. It happens for everyone. It's just part of having a brain, is that you have bias. So it's not something to feel bad about or to be guilty about, it's something to work on in terms of building your awareness.
And a moment ago, I mentioned that sometimes these biases run counter to our explicit views, and I think that's really true. You know, Conor, you don't want to have gender bias, and yet you maybe just discovered a moment of some in your head. And that's also really regular. We don't want to be racist, but we carry around racist implicit biases all the time.
Yeah. And you know, I think another thing that gets in the way of talking about race is socialization. And socialization makes it hard, right? Many people, and many white people specifically, are explicitly taught to avoid the topic because it's impolite or maybe unpleasant or uncomfortable, just like talking about illness or religion or money are things that we don't do in polite company, right? And so, you know, when we get messages like that, it makes it harder for us to lean into something that feels a little bit, you know, uncomfortable or unpleasant. And so, you know, when people feel uncomfortable or guilty or unpleasant, they're going to avoid that thing that creates those feelings of discomfort.
So if socialization tells us that it's perhaps impolite or unpleasant to talk about race, I think socialization also tells us that race is this incredibly complicated, complex, huge, historically and culturally embedded topic that isn't really easy, and perhaps even seemingly impossible, to tackle with a conversation, especially when we're thinking about a conversation with young children. So it almost feels like, well, we can't do that. That's too big, it's too big to jump into.
I think that's really true, Jij, and I think there's a particular kind of socialization, which many of us grew up with, and it's this outdated notion of colorblindness. And lots of us, you know, were explicitly coached into this way of thinking about race. And so, colorblindness is the idea that everybody's the same and that we don't see race. And the problem with it is that it fails to acknowledge the impact of racism on all people, especially people of color, but on all people. And it doesn't push white people, in particular, to do the important work of reckoning with the legacy of racism and white supremacy in our lives. And so I think it's a really unhelpful strategy, even though it initially maybe emerged out of this very kind idea, which is that we should see what's the same about people and not point out the differences. But it really, the impact is that it denies this super important part of people's lived experience. And so I think, you know, that's a particular kind of socialization and way of raising children that we have learned is not the best one.
And, you know, I want to point out that this approach is really only available to folks who are in the empowered category, which in this case is white people. White people have the option to be colorblind. Men have an opportunity to be gender blind. Straight people get to not think about sexuality differences. People who are currently sighted get to ignore the impact of vision impairment. I think it's really important to point out those power differences when we consider the points of view that we take to issues like racism.
Well, is there maybe something in the society that would make people want to not talk about these things in order to keep certain groups down? And by not confronting them, maybe we, you know, if we don't talk about money, then people who have a lesser wage won't be able to get a greater wage. If we don't talk about, you know, sexual politics in the workplace, women won't necessarily be able to move up into some of those roles that have been traditionally held by men. So maybe by not talking about it, it's creating some of these problems. Just something to think about, maybe, as we talk about this.
Yeah. And, you know, and again, some of that is just implicit and baked into how we have learned to think about and talk about many of these topics. And, you know, to Emma's point around colorblind, you know, when we're thinking about talking about race with young children, young children are not colorblind. They see all of the differences around them, which is wonderful. And again, our job is to help them make sense of that.
You know, I'll say another thing that gets in the way of talking about race with children is most grown-ups just haven't had a lot of practice with it. And, you know, when you don't have a lot of practice or training, or you haven't had a lot of frameworks or models to show you what that can look like or feel like, then you're just not going to do it. And I think most folks, especially white folks, didn't have parents that had conversations about race, they didn't have books or media that showed what these conversations could sound like. It's interesting that we have lots more information about how to talk about things like the tooth fairy than we do information about how to talk about race, which seems crazy when you really think about it. And we probably know that a conversation with our kids about race is not a one-off, one-time event where, you know, you have the talk and now they understand the complexity of race and racism in the United States, right? This is a topic that has to kind of be revisited and we have to come back to over and over again, like talking with our children about big topics like sex and drugs and alcohol. And so, you know, that makes it feel daunting that it is this big thing. And, you know, again, it's not a one-time event, but it is a process and a continuing conversation.
Well, I wonder, too, are people worried about confronting their own biases? It's, you know, because I think that's maybe a barrier, too, is you don't want to say something and reveal that, oh, maybe I'm not as evolved on this as I would like to think that I am. Because I think a lot of us would like to think, oh, I've got this nailed, you know, and we're in a post-racial society because we elected a Black president and we feel really good about where we are in a lot of ways. But, you know, the fact is that it is something that's ongoing and it's not just a one-time thing. Like, oh, we've done this and I feel good, and now I'm never going to have any problems or questions ever again.
Yeah, and another thing I want to just add to that thought … I so appreciate your bringing up the vulnerability inherent in talking about race with your kids because it's really scary. It's a lot easier to talk about, you know, table manners or how to do an apology well. Right? Those things feel less connected to our identities, and less opportunity seems to be there where we're exposing our own foibles and our own areas for growth with our kids. I think it can be hard to not be the expert for grown-ups sometimes. But in fact, that's also great modeling. That's something we've talked about on previous episodes of the podcast. Like, this is a great opportunity to lean into being a learner with your child in a way that's really productive for both of you.
So yeah, let's talk a little about the research because I think it's helpful to know, first, that there is research about this topic. You might not know that. It's not like learning math. But there's really a robust body of research that addresses, in particular, what young children know about and think about race. And so I'm just going to share a few sort of highlights of things that sometimes can be surprising for folks because, again, there's this idea that young children aren't ready to think about race, or they don't think about it naturally and we should really be shielding them from this difficult topic. So I'm going to share some research that comes from a few different places. Some of it comes from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which sometimes we just call NAEYC. Some of it comes from researchers like Louise Derman-Sparks, Lisa Delpit, Robin DiAngelo, and Terry Husband. So if you're interested, we can put some more stuff in the show notes, but also feel free to Google those names.
We know that children, even before their first birthday, show awareness of skin color and facial features which align with racial groups. So they're noticing these before they have, you know, more than a word or two. Preschoolers and kindergartners talk a lot actually, if you listen into their private conversations, about their own and others' racial characteristics. Sometimes they learn not to have those conversations in front of grown-ups because of the way that the grown-ups respond, but they have lots of conversations about this, and they want to know why physical characteristics differ. And if we don't give them good explanations, they'll develop some of their own, and typically those will be racist, not because the children are racist, but because the society that they're growing up in is. It's like when you're a fish, you can't see the water, right?
Another thing is that they will work hard to understand the exact names and criteria for various racial categories, and they can be overly rigid in those. And I think that's a common misunderstanding that young children have, and we can help them navigate that and understand the complexity and nuance in these categories and groups, but only if we're talking to them about it, right? Multiracial children and children who are in transracial adoptive families have extra questions, and they deserve to know more earlier than do other children. And I think that's really clear in the research, and I think it's a nice thing to point out. And by the way, friends of those children may also have more questions and may also need more resources and tools earlier.
Preschoolers and kindergartners are actively developing their own senses of identity around all kinds of things—whether or not they're a fast runner, whether or not they are people who like school, whether or not they're kind friends. And one of the components of their identity is their racial identity, and they need some help resisting harmful messages about their own racial identity and resisting the ones that may be developing about their classmates because we see in preschool, even, that children begin excluding peers of different races in their play and other kinds of activities. They start to make choices about who they want to be with and what kind of games they want to play based on racial groups as early as three years old, which can be surprising, but it's really true. And we see children younger than that, toddlers, making racially biased toy choices and demonstrating behaviors which indicate less favorable attitudes toward people of color as opposed to white people. Again, all this stuff, I think, is just indicative of the level of implicit bias and the way that our society works. So it doesn't mean that it's impossible, but it means that we've got to be actively pushing against all this kind of stuff.
And, you know, the way that we push against all this kind of stuff is by talking about it. And, you know, there's a whole bunch of research that is related to what happens when parents don't talk about it and what happens when parents do talk about race. So recently the Sesame Workshop released a research paper called Identity Matters. And before I jump into sharing that research, I just want to note that I feel like I'm quoting Big Bird, which is pretty great. Sesame Street. So Sesame Workshop's research shows that most parents don't talk about race and ethnicity with their kids. Only 10 percent of parents who participated in this survey and research shared that they often talk about race. Ten percent. One in 10 parents often talks about race with their children. And parents of color were three times more likely than white parents to talk about race. So, I think that's a really interesting thing to consider, you know, and it clearly has impacts on how children are understanding and making sense of the racial differences that they're noticing.
Over 60 percent of parents said they rarely or never talk about race. And, again, I think all of that research that Emma was referring to are a result of our lack of supporting kids in understanding and talking about race. Also, recently, well, not all that recently, in 2009 there's a book called NurtureShock, which a lot of parents and caregivers probably are familiar with, and that was Bronson and Merryman. And their research indicated that explicitly talking about race has very clear benefits. So children who have addressed race, and who have talked explicitly about race in their families, were less likely to make assumptions about people based on skin color. So literally talking about race helps kids to be less implicitly biased based on skin color. And then, you know, there was also an aspect of the research that spoke to having conversations with five- to seven-year-olds about interracial friendships improved children's racial attitudes in as little as a week. Right? So, you know, these clear benefits are just more evidence for us to talk about race more with our children.
So talking to children about race is obviously beneficial, we know that. And it just makes me think back to a time when I was a kid, because we didn't talk about race a whole lot, but I do remember a story about a family friend, my aunt and her friend Charles, came over for dinner one night at my house. And I was three years old at the time, and my aunt's friend Charles is Black, and I remember I'd never met a Black man before. And so I went up to Charles and, you know, he put his hand out to shake my hand. You know, he was a very, very tall man, and I was a tiny little three-year-old kid. And he put his hand out to shake my hand, and I looked and I said, "Ooh, his hands are dirty." And you know, my mom, I think, was probably mortified, as were the other white people in the room, but Charles was so cool and so nice about it, and he just kind of picked me up and put me on his lap, and he said, "You know, well, I'm a Black man," and kind of held up his hand and kind of held up my hand next to his and said, "Well, I'm a Black man and, you know, you're white and this is why my hand is this color and this is why your hand is this color." And he just was very nice and generous and lovely about it, and explained the difference between he and I in just a few short moments. And I was like, "Okay, cool," you know, went off and played, and the adults went and had conversation. But I think that was really a kind of transformative moment because at that time, you know, they could have just shut that down and been like, "Oh no, we don't talk about that," and Charles just kind of, you know, would not have said anything. But I think the fact that he was able to explain it to me in a way that I maybe understood at three years old, as much as a three-year-old can understand that concept, I think it really helped. And I think that, again, that conversation was instructive and informative, and it was a teachable moment, rather than just shutting down the conversation saying like, "Oh, no, no, we don't talk about that," and, "Oh, this three-year-old is a little racist" and, you know, "We can't have this kind of conversation."
I love that story. And, you know, at its essence, it's a grown-up recognizing that a child was curious about a difference that, you know, in this case, you and, you know, Charles took the moment to help you understand what you were noticing. And I think it's important to note, you know, he was able to do that. And hopefully it's not always the, you know, in this sort of instance, the person of color who has to have that responsibility to talk about race; I think all grown-ups, people of color, white folks have opportunities often to help kids shape their understanding of race and racial differences. So the more we're able to take advantage of those opportunities like Charles, the better our kids will be. And they'll turn out just like you, Conor.
Right. Yes. No, but I think that's a valuable point is there are so many teachable moments, and I think it's easy to gloss over them because it's, you know, it can open a can of worms that I think people don't want to get into. But I think if more people are brave and have the ability to find the teachable moments when they happen, it's really just going to be more instructive because, not that I never had any questions about race following that particular encounter, I'm sure I did, and I'm sure I still will as an adult, but I think if your curiosity is encouraged rather than kind of tamped down, I think that will allow children to engage more meaningfully. Because curiosity is an important aspect of this, too, because, like, I was curious, kids are curious, they want to know why is this child's hair a different texture than mine, or some of these things. And so I think that encouraging curiosity is good, especially if it comes with a good explanation.
Yeah. Well, and this idea of a teachable moment, I have another anecdote to share from my days as a teacher. So, in my first year as a fourth-grade teacher, I chose to teach this novel about a biracial boy who was trying to reconnect with his estranged grandfather through their shared love of geology. It was this perfect classroom novel for my fourth-grade curriculum. It was about science, it was about conflict resolution, it was about issues of identity and difference. And so, when we started the discussion of the main character, I discussed, you know, he has a white mother and an African American father, and his racial identity is he's mixed race. One of my students raised his hand and said, "That's racist." And I didn't exactly know what that meant, but I knew that we had to talk about it. And so the teachable moment there was: we weren't going to continue studying the characters in the book. We were going to have—you know, I threw out the lesson plan for the character study and we had a long conversation, about an hour, about race. And it was clear to me as a first-year teacher that I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing, and I wasn't sure if I was going to talk about race in the right way with my fourth-grade students, but I knew that there was a misconception about race that was at the core of this student's thinking—that even talking about or naming the racial identity of characters in a book was racist. That, to me, meant that, you know, we needed to talk about something. These nine- and ten-year-olds had not had enough experience talking about race. And so, to your point, Conor, you know, when young children recognize differences, I think it's our job as grown-ups to not shush them, right? Let's agree to help them, and perhaps help ourselves, by leaning in, trying to give them a way to understand and perhaps celebrate the differences that they're seeing and trying to sort out around them.
So we've obviously talked a lot about why talking about race is important and the benefits of it, and also being aware that maybe it will be a little uncomfortable or messy, but it's not good to avoid it. And so we have some homework items to talk about, because it wouldn't be a princiPALS podcast without some homework. And so we want to talk about: what are things that people can actually, tangibly do so that it doesn't maybe feel as daunting to embark on a conversation about race or to find a teachable moment where you don't have to avoid talking about it or tamp down a child's curiosity with some questions about race.
Yeah. So I'm going to share three things you can do in general as my homework assignments. The first thing is to do your own work, and that's helping yourself develop your own racial identity and your own understanding of race. There are great books and resources out there about this topic. Actually, there's a PBS Utah digital series called [Let's Talk: Talking to Kids about Race] by a local University of Utah assistant associate professor and researcher in the Department of Educational Psychology; her name is Karen Tao. And it's a really wonderful resource to hear examples of parents talking about how they talk about race with their own children and from a variety of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and Karen does a great job of facilitating those conversations. And I think it would be helpful for parents to see those models of what conversations can look and sound like.
And I'll just plug: if you happen to be a white parent or caregiver, and/or you are raising white children, I would highly recommend starting with episode four. I think it's really a nice one to start with. You don't have to start with the first one. You can jump around however you like, but if you're only going to watch one, and you and/or your children are white, I'd go for number four.
Thanks for the tip, Emma.
Homework item number two is: look for those opportunities to talk about race. And I think they happen all the time around us with our children. I know as the parent of two young children, there are lots of opportunities. And, you know, when we see those opportunities, it's important to take them, right? And I think one thing that hopefully folks are getting out of this podcast is that talking about race sends explicit and proactive messages about race. And, quite frankly, avoiding or not talking about race sends messages, too, right? It sends messages that it is impolite or it is taboo to talk about race. And that is not what we want our kids to understand when it comes to noticing difference.
So the third piece of homework that I have to share is: create opportunities to talk about race. And there are so many opportunities in your local community—cultural events; experiences; also wonderful books that are available that have characters and stories from people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, helping to support your children in friendships of kids from different racial backgrounds; and films, movies, cartoons create opportunities to notice and talk about difference with your children.
And I'm sure Emma has some homework of her own, because she does.
I do. Yeah. I think, you know, these strategies that Jij's mentioned are really important and ongoing ones for grown-ups to be taking on. But I know how much parents and caregivers love to have, like, a recipe of, like, what to do in the moment: I am having, you know, an interaction with this little person, they've said something I'm not expecting—what do I actually do in that particular moment that's not just to panic and run away? So, repeat listeners will remember that we have this way of starting in these moments, which is to survey the scene. And this is the idea that we take from CPR training, and it's just about listening and observing for a moment before you jump into actually doing anything. And for conversations about race this is super, super important. You want to work really hard not to make assumptions or judgments, and to try to stay calm and focus on what's actually happening, because it's really easy for us as grown-ups with all this knowledge and history and baggage, frankly, around this topic to believe that the child is saying something that's much, much bigger than what they're actually saying. So, you know, there are examples all the time where, you know, a child makes some offhand comment about a difference between herself and another child, and we believe that this is based in racist ideology, but actually it's about something totally different. And so if we don't take a moment to stop and think about that and wonder about what's actually happening, what do we know for sure is happening in this child's mind, then we might miss it and get carried away addressing the wrong issue.
I have this great story that illustrates what Emma is talking about. This kindergarten teacher was reading a book from the story reader's chair to her class, and then got up and walked over to the bookshelf. And shortly after that, one of her students came up and said, "Your butt is hot." And this teacher was a little freaked out, like, oh, this, you know, I need to unpack this, you know, statement about my appearance, and, you know, this is loaded.
Yep, objectifying me and talking about, you know, what I look like. But this teacher surveyed the scene and knew just to ask some questions, and so asked this child, "Well, what makes you say that?" And the child said, "I just sat in your chair and it was really warm, so your butt is hot." So this was not a statement about objectifying a woman's body, it was a temperature statement. And, again, for that kindergarten teacher, her first instinct was to address the, you know, objectification.
Yep. And really it was just an observation based on temperature.
That's a great example. I love that one. It's also funny.
I hope she said, "Say warm next time."
Right? Maybe there was a coaching opportunity there.
Yeah. Just, warm. Your butt is warm. That definitely has a different connotation.
It does. So, yeah, step one: survey the scene; what's actually happening?
Step two is: identify the feelings, because children might be sharing observations or asking questions and those are coming from different feelings, and those different feelings require a different response from their grown-ups. So children often are reacting to a sense of curiosity that they have (which is the case in this Rosetta Lee story, right?), a misunderstanding about something, or they're expressing some discomfort. And for each of those, we need to respond differently, right? So, curiosity—once you understand what their question is, you can give them the right amount of information. If it's a misunderstanding, you want to help them understand what's wrong about what they're thinking and help them shift their thinking to be more accurate or in line with your values, for example. If it's discomfort, you've got to start by acknowledging and honoring that discomfort. You've got to help them feel better before you can move into another place.
So the third step in the moment is to keep it simple. This one can be hard for grown-ups sometimes, too, but I think it's a really good thing to keep in the back of your mind as you are addressing any questions or observations that come up. We want to give simple explanations, setting clear limits and sharing right-size bits of information. This is where we can get ahead of ourselves as grown-ups because we have all this context and history, and I think answering the particular questions, or addressing the particular misunderstanding or discomfort in the moment, is often sufficient. And again, going back to this idea, like, we're going to have these conversations lots of times with kids, so if you don't get it all in there in one shot, that's probably better, right? We'll come back around to it. You're going to do these little, small interactions around race and racial identity and racial difference, and, as kids get older, racism, even. And those don't have to be complete in and of themselves. You just give the right-size bit of information so that the child can kind of move on with a little more information than they had before.
The next step is to always respond. This is super important, and Jij talked about this earlier. Kids get lots of information from us about what we avoid talking about too. So if we give the message consistently that we're always willing to talk about this, that helps kids know that it's okay to talk about it. It's not a thing that you have to be afraid to talk about. And I think that's really powerful. So being sure that you always respond, even if it's not perfect, even if you don't have all the information you need in the moment and you want to loop back around with your child, making sure that you address it and don't shut down the conversation in that moment is super important.
And then the last thing is to get help when you need it, to know when you need more information or you need some backup from the person that you're caregiving or parenting with. Or if you want to go and do some reading and, you know, get a children's book that will help support a further conversation, like, don't be afraid to go get yourself some resources so you can come back to the conversation next time better prepared.
Well, I think we've unpacked a lot of how to talk to children about race today. And I, for one, am feeling less anxious about the idea of talking about race.
Yeah, Conor, we started this episode with you saying you're feeling a little nervous about doing this thing. How'd it go for you?
I feel a lot better. You know, I feel like it's the kind of thing, again, if we normalize it and we confront it, it definitely becomes less scary. So I think this is the kind of thing that, you know, I feel better. I hope the listeners feel better. I hope you two feel better.
Yeah. And that's the whole point of this thing. We need more reps. It's practice.
Well, I think that we definitely have done some good reps today, and I think that we'll continue to do them, and hopefully everybody out there will do them as well. And there are other resources that Jij and Emma have curated that will be on the website at rowlandhall.org/podcast, and you can find them there along with this episode and the other episodes of The PrinciPALS Podcast.
And I think that is the bell for recess, so that means we're out of time.
I'm Jij de Jesus.
And I'm Emma Wellman.
And they're the princiPALS.
About Jij de Jesus
Jij de Jesus is the Lower School principal at Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Prior to Rowland Hall, Jij worked at Town School for Boys in San Francisco, where he held a number of leadership positions, most notably as director of the Exploration of New Ideas program, and was a fourth-grade teacher. He began his career in experiential education by leading wilderness trips. Jij holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Northwestern University and a master’s of education in private school leadership from the University of Hawaii.
About Emma Wellman
Emma Wellman is the Beginning School principal at Rowland Hall. Emma joined Rowland Hall in July 2018 after working as a teacher and administrator at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Emma has also been an adjunct instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago and the owner of a childcare business, Banana Mashers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Michigan and a master’s in child development from the Erikson Institute.
About Conor Bentley ’01
Conor Bentley is a graduate of Rowland Hall’s class of 2001. He holds a master’s degree in education, works in higher education, and has produced several podcasts, including the public-radio parody Consider Our Knowledge.