RAISING ANTIRACIST KIDS: An age by age guide for parents of white children  

By Rebekah Gienapp

Get comfortable talking about race with your kids

Take action as a family against racism  

Raise antiracist kids at every age and stage 


Do you avoid talking about race with your kids because you’re afraid you’ll say the wrong thing?

When your kids make offhand remarks about skin color, you’re not sure what to say. What if drawing your kids’ attention to race backfires? 

Race, racism, and white privilege are complex topics that are often painful.  

Maybe you’re not sure your kids are ready to talk about these issues.

You wonder how you can do it in a way that’s age appropriate, and won’t overwhelm them.  

Here’s why parents must start talking with white children about race:

Three out of four white parents of kindergartners don't talk to their kids about race.
A study of white liberal families asked young kids "do your parents like Black people?" More than half of the children answered either "I don't know" or "no."
Researchers have observed children as young as age three using intentionally racist language, even in diverse preschools.
One study found that when white 3rd and 4th graders had intentional conversations about stereotypes, it reduced their prejudices.

Breaking the silence about race with kids isn’t always easy. But with support and practice, you can help your child challenge stereotypes, embrace antiracist thinking, and speak up for racial justice.

Testimonial from Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard


Responding to your child's questions about race with calm and compassion.
Watching your child speak up against stereotypes and exclusion.
Taking antiracist action as a family, in ways that make sense to your child.
Making brave choices for your family that fit with your antiracist values.
Andrew Grant-Thomas testimonial

What’s inside the Raising Antiracist Kids ebook?

Easy to understand summaries of research on how kids think about race at different ages and stages.
Conversation and action tips tailored to all ages, with chapters for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary age kids, and middle schoolers.
Step by step antiracist practices to try with your child at each stage of their development.
How to respond when a child expresses racial bias or stereotypes.
Strategies for dealing with your own feelings of guilt, shame, and perfectionism as you move deeper into your journey of antiracist parenting.
Approaches for addressing racism within your child's school.
Family-friendly ideas for putting your antiracist beliefs into action.
A printable resource list, including 150+ books for kids and teens that help children develop healthy ideas about race and inspire them to challenge racism.
Claire Prince testimony
Jardana Peacock testimony

Raising Antiracist Kids is for you if:

- You're the parent of a white child or young teen. The book includes sections for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary age children, and middle schoolers. 

- You believe that racism is an urgent issue we can't wait to address until our children are older.

- You long to bring more antiracist ideas and practices into your parenting.

- You’re willing to start talking to your children about race, racism, and white privilege, or go deeper in the conversations you’re already having, even though you’ll make mistakes sometimes. 

- You believe that conversation about race goes hand in hand with taking action against racism, no matter what age we are. 

- You know in your heart that even though antiracist parenting isn’t easy, it is doable, and you just need some support as you undertake it.  

This book is NOT for you if:

- You are certain that talking to children about race is racist. 

- You’re unwilling to examine the ways that whiteness and white privilege are shaping both you and your children’s day to day reality, and the ways that racism harms children of color.  

Lois Johnson Mead testimonial

Input your text in this area

Hi there! I’m Rebekah Gienapp, founder of The Barefoot Mommy. I’m mama to a boisterous 7-year-old and stepmom to a chill 21-year-old. I’m also an activist, a parenting blogger, a former community organizer, a minister, and a religious educator for children.  

Before my son was born, I spent my days working for economic and racial justice. Becoming a parent turned my world upside down (it usually does, doesn’t it?), and I left my community organizing job to focus primarily on motherhood. 

It wasn’t until my kiddo was 4 years old that I understood how racially segregated our family life had become. Talking about race took on a greater urgency as I realized our youngest child was living in a white racial bubble in the midst of our majority Black community.  

As we talked more about race and racism, my desire grew to find a way to fit activism back into my life. But this time, I realized that activism needed to include my family (at least some of the time.) I also knew we needed to find ways to desegregate our lives. 

While doing this work within our own family, I learned even more about teaching children about antiracism and social justice as the Lead Teacher and curriculum developer of Evergreen Presbyterian Church's Peace Camp.  

Raising Antiracist Kids is filled with lessons I’ve learned from other parents in the trenches, antiracist activists, and researchers. I’ve also included many of my family’s stories – including mistakes I’ve made on my continual journey towards antiracist parenting. I’m still learning and growing every day, and I’m so glad to be traveling this path with you.  

Cindy Hastings Sakaan testimonial

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the book written for parents of white children? Don’t all children need to learn about antiracism?  

There are plenty of basic antiracist principles that are the same no matter the race of the kids we are raising. But racism is at its heart a white racial hierarchy that places white children at the top, Black children at the bottom, and puts other children of color in between the two. 

That means that racism's effects are very different on children of color and white children

Research has also shown that most white parents do not talk to their children about race, while most parents of color do. 

As the white parent of white children, I want to encourage other white parents to teach their kids to speak up against racism, and to take antiracist action as a family. In writing this book, I wanted to “stay within my own lane,” rather than trying to tell parents of color how to deal with the effects of racism that my family has not experienced. 

Is this book useful to teachers? 

The primary audience for this book is parents of white children, but there are many tips, strategies, and resources that could also be useful to teachers. 

Is this a physical book that will be mailed to me? What will I receive when I place my order? 

Raising Antiracist Kids is an ebook; please note that no physical copy will be mailed to you. 

You will receive your book as a PDF document, so that it’s easy to read on a computer or tablet without any special software or apps. And if you love holding a printed copy in your hands to read, it’s easy to print out all or part of the ebook (such as the recommended children’s book directory that’s included.)  

What is your refund policy?  

If you’re not satisfied with Raising Antiracist Kids: An age by age guide for parents of white children, please contact me within 30 days of your purchase for a full refund.  


Your purchase supports the work of EmbraceRace!

Embrace Race logo

A portion of your purchase of Raising Antiracist Kids will be donated to EmbraceRace, a fantastic nonprofit organization working on four goals related to race and children. EmbraceRace equips caregivers and educators to nurture resilience in children of color, nurture inclusive, empathetic children of all stripes, raise kids who think critically about racial inequity, and support a movement of kid and adult racial justice advocates for all children.

What happens after you place your order:

1. Click the Buy Now button above.

2. Complete your order on a secure checkout page using Paypal or a major credit card.

3. You'll receive an email with a link to download your ebook. 

4. If you have any problems with your ordering process, please email me at rebekah@thebarefootmommy.com.