At the Philosophy for Children Workshop on Thursday, April 22, Prof. Cheri Carr (LaGuardia Community College) with her students Jesus Benitez and David Ortiz, talked about how inclusive thinking begins with how we treat our children. Between ages 2-5, children internalize racial bias and display attitudes similar to adults. By age 12, many children become set in their beliefs. Caring and invested educators and parents can unintentionally perpetuate anti-Black racism by promoting a colorblind approach to race stemming from their discomfort navigating conversations on race. Not talking about race reinforces racism in young children; talking about it encourages the development of positive attitudes and skills needed to advocate for racial justice.
This is why the Philosophy for Children initiative at LaGuardia Community College partnered with the CUNY Fatherhood Academy and Transformative Learning in the Humanities to create an interactive workshop for CUNY parents and educators of young children that centers issues of race. Workshoppers engaged in an open, supportive conversation about how we can foster racial justice through our relationships with children. Engaging in philosophical inquiry is a powerful way to give children the space they need to ask difficult questions and process complex ideas. And it’s up to us to create those spaces for them.
Prof. Carr, along with her co-organizers Benitez and Ortiz, created a printable book mark so parents and educators could have a little reminder of some of the basic principles of this pedagogy.
This free, printable bookmark is shared with permission from Prof. Carr, who is Associate Professor & Philosophy for Children Internship Director, in the Humanities Department at LaGuardia Community College.