Diversity and Inclusion

Little Allies: 3 Tips for Talking with Kids about Inclusion

If you’re a parent, an educator, or anyone who regularly spends time with young people, mark your calendar for our upcoming Changemakers conversation. On December 5, 2023, we’ll be talking with Julie Kratz and Ericka Young, board members of Little Allies, a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate bias by facilitating inclusive experiences for children.

Allyship Matters at Every Age

Since 2016, Forté has supported allyship through our Allies for Gender Equity program (formerly Men as Allies), which includes free resources such as an MBA toolkit, a corporate toolkit, and myriad articles. Our paid workshops and programs have helped train hundreds of allies in both the higher ed and corporate arenas. In the ideal world, however, allyship education at these points in one’s career journey would be refresher courses, not introductions.

In a recent Forbes article, Ericka said, “When we learn about different types of people, abilities, household dynamics, etc. early, the conversation becomes a natural part of how we move through life. Many of us have waited to learn the language until we come face to face with injustice. Little Allies aims to educate anyone who invests in the lives of children so that we have dynamic, inclusive, and diverse spaces where our children can thrive long-term.”

Little Allies focuses on helping kids understand the importance of accepting each other, celebrating our differences, and becoming allies. Did you know that a girl’s confidence peaks at age 8?  Did you know that children’s racial views solidify at age 12?

Julie shared those facts with Forté ahead of the Changemakers session — and during the virtual workshop, she and Ericka will provide more research, stories, and strategies to guide your conversations with children about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

How to Talk with Kids about Inclusion

 Here are three simple tips from the Little Allies team to help you have these conversations:

  1. Celebrate differences. Little Allies recommends exposing children to diverse experiences and perspectives from an early age. For example, attending a cultural heritage event with your child is an opportunity to try new foods and participate in new activities. Afterward, you can talk about the experience together.
  2. Diversify your family’s entertainment. When you read books and watch movies and TV shows with your kids, choose stories that depict characters with different experiences and backgrounds. Learning about diverse cultures and communities will help young people develop empathy and compassion.
  3. Encourage curiosity. If your kids bring up a complex topic like racism, it’s because they trust and respect you. Kids sometimes ask difficult questions, and it’s up to you to answer them honestly and openly in an age-appropriate way. As Julie wrote in Forbes, “It is impossible to be judgmental when we are curious.” She suggests modeling curiosity by asking kids, “What makes you think that?” or starting sentences with “I wonder…”

Little Allies urges parents, teachers, and other caregivers to make inclusion a regular topic of conversation, not something you only bring up with your kids once or twice.

For more detailed guidance from Julie and Ericka, and to learn more about Little Allies’ work, join us for Changemakers on December 5, 2023, at 12 PM ET. Register for this engaging and interactive session now.

The Changemakers series is part of Forté’s Professional Membership. This series features global thought leaders sharing insights on change, adaptation, and acceleration in today’s evolving world. 

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