Resource eBlast July 2020
for families of children and youth with special health care needs
A Meeting of Minds and Hearts:
Connecting with Teens about Racism, Social Justice, Police Brutality, and Protests

On a good day, talking with your teen about how their day went in a two-way conversation can be a challenge…let alone discussing topics such as racism, police brutality, and social justice. Here are some ideas, tools, and resources to become informed yourself and help connect with teens through their media platforms and in their “language.”

For conversations with other child populations, check out the last two eBlasts:

Let's start with some information for you (and it can be shared with your teen too, of course) about the impact of racism on teens and adolescents. How does this bias affect them in the short and long term?

Resources to prepare yourself, organize your thoughts, and connect through media, conversation, or shared action:
  • How to talk to kids about race and racism contains wonderful and relatable advice (such as “actually talk about it,” “navigate their curiosity, or “address mistakes”) with embedded links to books and other media to help connect with your teen.


  • This interactive site allows you to search for books about racism and social justice by age group.
Summer school is in! Take these as a summer “class,” just read and learn, adapt for dinner table discussion, host a family/friend zoom call. These plans allow you to adapt for the classroom of life:

  • Although the ideas, lessons and tools on this site are centered around setting up discussions “in a classroom,” they are easily adaptable for lesson planning in the classrooms of life, like the dinner table, or a Zoom call.
PODCASTS for your teen and for you!
  • The Talking to Teens podcast features Dr. Tatum (author of "Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?”) includes show notes and scripts to help families start conversations.

  • Code Switch is a top podcast right now. Explore these fearless conversations about race produced by NPR and journalists of color.

  • 1619 is a hot podcast right now and for good reason. Beautifully produced and poignant, you will feel transported into history, and not just textbook history but true accounts of history that help to understand how we evolved from slavery to structural racism. Great to listen to on your own or with your teen as conversations that flow from this will be deep and quickly focus on "why" and how do we make the promises of the constitution--"all men are created equal"--finally whole?
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