Empathy and Racism – Whole Child Education

To build empathy around these topics, we need to ask: How do we share in these experiences of injustice? How do they affect all of us? How can we work together to build just, inclusive communities?

These are discussions that are missing in many classrooms, even those that are rich in many different kinds of diversity. Inequality exists today, but we have the opportunity to offer explanation and deeper understanding in the classroom. In my own attempts to create more inclusive conversations about race and racism in my kindergarten classroom, we confront the themes of justice, equality, and inclusion multiple times throughout the year.


We learn about many people who fight for positive social change—both famous and personal, true-to-life and fictional. We discuss skin color differences, learn to communicate across our differences, and explore and celebrate these differences through stories, poetry, imaginative play, and art activities.


by Madeleine Rogin