Racism and Social Justice

We stand and speak for racial justice and public health equity - together

Children’s Institute is committed to work towards the elimination of systemic and institutional racism, individual racism, and implicit bias. We don't stand silent. Silent isn't neutral. We stand and speak for racial justice and public health equity – together. Families with children in communities of color demand allies who support, understand, recognize, and transform personal discomfort into decisive action that promotes lasting change around these inequities. Continue reading


How Has the Pandemic Exposed Structural Racism

Children’s Institute’s Racial Equity and Justice Institute (REJI) team humbly offers this detailed, evolving, and far from exhaustive public account of the vastly disproportionate health, economic and educational fallout on communities and people of color—nationally and locally— revealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Presented in slide deck form, this report captures data that:

  • illuminate pre-existing racial inequities in health, education, and economics that were overwhelmingly exacerbated during this pandemic,
  • provide a timeframe of inaction and inadequate response that led to preventable morbidity and mortality, and
  • illustrate the imperative of implementing and coordinating policies to dismantle structural racism throughout the Monroe County community in order to reduce or eliminate harm among families of color who bear the greatest burden—by far—of this pandemic. 

Our goal is to provide a resource for awareness and action. We invite you to join with Children’s Institute in collective impact efforts and as we stand with communities of color in tangible ways to support equity of access and wellbeing among all children and families.

How Has the Pandemic Exposed Structural Racism


Racial Justice Lunch and Learn Meetings

Children’s Institute offers our staff voluntary Racial Justice Lunch and Learn Meetings. Attendance is consistent and strong; some staff attend regularly; others attend occasionally; we all have something to share and we are all learners. We've also invited Children’s Institute Board Members and our colleagues at Roc the Future and Common Ground to join with us as we work toward our personal and collective Cultural Humility goals. With funding from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, we are making the content and format of these learning sessions accessible to the community. Read more and access meetings for your organization

Implementing NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework
Resources for PreK-2nd Grade Teachers


This user-friendly resource integrates social and emotional learning and equity practices and demonstrates how they can, together, be woven throughout the schedules and routines of the early childhood school day. Designed to support the use of, and adherence to the New York State Department of Education’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework (CRSEF), this resource is a collaboration by educators from Children’s Institute, Greece Central School District, and Webster School District, and was underwritten by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

Through curated teaching tools, children’s books, articles, videos, and podcasts, this resource supports PreK-2nd grade staff in the successful integration of the CRSEF’s grounding principles and practices during:  SEL Throughout the Day, Mornings and Transitions, Reading and ELA, Science, Math, and Special Areas.




Talking to Children and Youth about Racism and Associated Violence

Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP

Heinous acts of racism caught on camera as well as the recent deaths of unarmed black persons – including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd – by current or former law enforcement officers have shaken the country. While to some it may appear as though racist acts have proliferated as of late, persons of color know differently: the racism that has always been there is being captured in ways not possible prior to the past decade. As the actor, Will Smith, has said, “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.” Continue reading



Talking about Racism with Children

PBS Teachers Lounge: 10 Tips on Talking to Kids About Race and Racism

Teaching Tolerance: Let's Talk! Facilitating Critical Conversations With Students

NCTSN: Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators

NCTSN: Talking to Children about Hate Crimes and Anti-Semitism

Embrace Race: 10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race English; Spanish

Act.tv: Systemic Racism Explained (VIDEO - 4.5 minutes)

National Museum of African American History & Culture: Talking About Race

Ted Talks | Megan Ming Francis: Let's Get to the Root of Racial Injustice (VIDEO - 20 minutes)

Chalkbeat: ‘Moments Like Now are why We Teach’: Educators Tackle Tough Conversations About Race and Violence-This Time Virtually

NPR: 'Raising White Kids' Author On How White Parents Can Talk About Race (Interview - 7.5 minute audio conversation and transcript)

Charis Books: Books to Teach White Children and Teens how to Undo Racism and White Supremacy


Pretty Good: Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup

Zero to Three: Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five

Today: How to Talk to Kids About Racism, Protests and Injustice

Child Mind Institute: Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News

Community Playthings: The Way Forward: Responding to Racism in ECE Programs and Schools

PBS Kids: How to Talk Honestly With Children About Racism

Cultural Humility Versus Cultural Competence: A Critical Distinction in Defining Physician Training Outcomes in Multicultural Education

Moving Past The Silence: A Tool For Negotiating Reflective Conversations About Race

REJI: Glossary of Some Common Terms


Racism as a Public Health Crisis

Center of Excellence for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Equity in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Webinar Series

ACT Rochester: Hard Facts: Race and Ethnicity in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area

FLPPS (Finger Lakes Performing Provider System): Culturally Competent and ​Health Literate Organizations​

Johns Hopkins University Press: Applying Critical Race Theory to Group Model Building Methods to Address Community Violence

NPR: A Decade Of Watching Black People Die (CodeSwitch Podcast; 22 minutes and transcript)

American Journal of Public Health: We’re Not All in This Together: On COVID-19, Intersectionality, and Structural Inequality

American Academy of Pediatrics: Reaching Teens

WHEC TV: Rochester In Focus: UR Medicine Clinical Psychologist on the Effects of Racism on Kids and Teens

Journal of Black Studies: Self-Reported Experiences of Racial Discrimination Among African Americans in Upstate New York


Culturally Competent and ​Health Literate Organizations​

Applying Critical Race Theory to Group Model Building Methods to Address Community Violence

Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group: DECLARATION: “RACISM IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS” | May 19, 2020



Anti-Racism is a Core Component of SEL

Where Change Started: The Antiracism Starter Kit

Teaching Tolerance: Responding to Hate and Bias at School

ASCD: How to Be an Antiracist Educator

We are Teachers: 21 Anti-Racism Videos To Share With Kids

Teaching Tolerance: Don't Say Nothing

Publishers Weekly: An Anti-Racist Graphic Novel Reading List

Ted Talks | Tiffany Alvoid: Eliminating Microaggressions: The Next Level of Inclusion (VIDEO - 9 minutes)

The Atlantic: What Anti-racist Teachers Do Differently

Teaching Tolerance: Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education


Communities for Just Schools Fund: When SEL is Used as Another Form of Policing

Antiracist Approaches for Shaping Theoretical and Practice Paradigms

Racial Healing Handbook Handout



Resources from Our Partners

RCSD: Black Lives Matter at School

Racial Equity & Justice Initiative (REJI)

Black Agenda Group

SURJ ROC (Showing Up for Racial Justice - Rochester NY)