Teaching About Anti-Racism


Actively learning and practicing antiracism is essential work in the fight for social justice. Educating with the intention to create an antiracist society is the most active and effective way to collectively unlearn legacies of racism and create a future that is truly just and equitable. Learning about the structures and manifestations of systemic racism should encourage everyone to reject the social system of white supremacy and resist systemic racism. Remaining complicit or neutral in situations of injustice does nothing to change systems of oppression and inequity.  Antiracism is not just the absence of racism, it is the antithesis of racism. Everything racism stands for, antiracism stands for the opposite. Antiracism work recognizes the social and historical context of racism as essential to effectively abolishing modern day systemic racism. Teaching new generations about antiracism will ensure the abolishment of white supremacy and the creation of an antiracist society. 


There is a growing number of excellent resources available for teachers to teach about anti-racism. To best educate future civic leaders who will abolish unjust systems and create equitable ones, teachers must approach this topic with integrity. In this society of systemic racism, it is crucial to educate the new generations about antiracism so they can be agents of change in this unjust world. Whether extremely privileged or extremely marginalized, everyone has a role and a purpose in the ecosystem of social change.

Lesson Plans

  1. Black Lives Matter at School:  An extensive compilation of anti-racist education resources. The first link on the Teaching Materials page is to the 2020 Black Lives Matter curriculum resource guide, a google drive filled with resources for different age groups and subject areas. Here you can access a multitude of resources and lesson plans centered on the 13 principles of Black Lives Matter. These educational resources embody active antiracist work and should take priority in the classroom. 
  2. Teaching For Black Lives: An exceptional new book directly addressing the question of how to educate in a way that empowers the ideology of Black Lives Matter. A highly recommended resource for teachers and educators that can be the basis for effective antiracist lesson plans. 
  3. White Anti-Racist Biographies Lesson Plan for Early Grades: This comprehensive lesson plan from Teaching Tolerance is most relevant to young white students who are understanding the concepts of systemic unfairness and injustice. These four biographies of white antiracists are  accompanied by activity ideas and focused on advancing anti-racist white identities. Educators can work to develop anti-racist white identities in students with purposeful use of literature and case studies of white anti-racists. 
  4. Teaching Race, Racism, and Racial Justice: Pedagogical Principles and Classroom Strategies for Course Instructors: This is an excellent article for educators that addresses the challenges of teaching anti-racist content effectly. The authors synthesize prior research to present five pedagogical strategies and corresponding classroom practices found to be best for antiracist education. 


  1. What it Means to be Anti-Racist: This is a very accesible article by Vox for comprehending the concept of antiracism and the necessity for antiracist education. This article goes over the history and meaning of antiracism, the practice of antiracism, and provides links to other antiracist resources. 
  2. How Can We Build AntiRacist White Educators?: This article from Teaching Tolerance details specific ways in which white educators can build anti-racist practices and identities. This article is directed at a white audience, with the intention to get uncomfortable and question long-held beliefs in order to confront racism and white supremacy through an anti-racist lens. 
  3. An Antiracist Reading List: Ibram X. Kendi, a powerful voice for antiracism, writes for the New York times about further readings for antiracist education. His annotated suggestions for antiracist books are each enticing and in themselves a story about the breadth and depth of antiracist work. 
  4. Research Based Advice on Teaching Children Not to be Racist: This article from the Atlantic provides an excellent overview of essential concepts in educating children about racism while encouraging anti-racism. 
  5. Five Stages of Unlearning Racism: This article by Kronda Adair is a very helpful and personable resource for unlearning racism to be able to practice anti-racism. She names five stages of unlearning racism that many people may relate to and explains the process around progressing from step to step and around helping others to move through the five stages to become anti-racist. 

Informational Sites

  1. AntiRacism Training: A compilation of various resources from Teaching Tolerance with excellent discussion questions, lesson plans to engage elementary school students in anti-racism work, and an article about talking to white colleagues about anti-racism. 
  2. What is Systemic Racism?: These exceptional videos from Race Forward are excellent resources for comprehending the pervasive structural and systemic racism fully functioning in our society today. It is important to frame anti-racism in the context of structural and systemic threats to people of color and communities of color. The videos cover the Wealth Gap, Employment, Housing Discrimination, Government Surveillance, Incarceration, Drug Arrests, Immigration Arrests, and Infant Mortality.
  3. Understanding Race and Privilege: An article from the National Association of School Psychologists with detailed information and links to other relevant resources. The article includes a number of self-reflection questions that can be used with students or educators. There is also a section on talking to others about privilege that can be useful for approaching fellow educators about highlighting this material. 
  4. The NonBlack Action Project: This is a wonderful compilation of resources for antiracist education and action. Created for nonblack people of color and white allies, this project provides a comprehensive action guide for unlearning racism through the words and stories of Black voices. 
  5. Anti-racism Resources for White People: This is a detailed guide to many antiracist resources in various media formats. The sections of the google doc are: Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children, articles to read, videos to watch, podcasts to subscribe to, books to read, films and tv series to watch, and organizations to follow on social media. There is also a section with further resources for antiracist education. 


Educating students in antiracism will change the status quo of our society and culture. Addressing, challenging, and abolishing systems of racism, oppression, and injustice is an urgent priority. Creating new social structures based on equity,  justice, and empathy can begin in the classroom and continue in the world with students who learn to be change agents and civic leaders. 

Additional Resources

  1. The AntiRacism Project: This site provides many resources for antiracist education and learning. A highly recommended site with many valuable pages and links. Further learning can be found in the form of articles, books, press, organizations, film, and personal implicit bias tests. 
  2. We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom: A book for educators in which Dr. Bettina Love presents a deeply moving argument grounded in personal experience, historical events, and research. She explains why educators must teach students about racial injustice and oppression and commit to sustainable anti-racist change in society. Dr. Love insists that we must approach education with the determination, imagination, boldness, and urgency of abolitionists to create a new system of intersectional justice. 
  3. Equality and Anti-Racism Book List: This is a great list from The Advocates for Human Rights with various book suggestions that are accessible to all ages and stages of learning.
  4. 10 Children’s Books that Help White Kids Understand What Children of Color Are Up Against: These 10 books are accessible to children of all ages and can facilitate anti-racist work in early education or in parents’ own homes. 
  5. Race Talk: Engaging Young People in Conversations about Race and Racism: This article from the Anti-Defamation League explains 9 concrete ways to engage students in antiracist education while maintaining an empathetic and critical consciousness about the context of the classroom. 
  6. Self-Care: It is important to keep in mind that learning about police brutality and living through moments of unrest can be mentally and emotionally taxing for students and teachers. Check out our page on teaching about self-care to find resources for helping students develop tools for taking care of themselves. Other great resources include The LoveLand Foundation and Black Emotional And Mental Health (BEAM) Collective.