While Black History Month is coming to an end, there's opportunity for growth and to learn about Black History and how to be anti-racist throughout the year. Anti-racism is defined as the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance. There are many ways to practice anti-racism such as supporting Black-owned businesses (Birmingham Black-owned businesses are linked below), voting for people who are also anti-racist, and having courageous conversations with friends and family.
Below are resources for educators, kids, and anyone interested in becoming Anti-Racist.
Anti-Racism Resources for Educators, Students, and Citizens
Race and Equity Initiative Anti-Racism Resources
Let's Grow Kids: Anti-Racism Resources
12 Books For Adults About Anti-Racism And Activism
21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge
TED Talks to help you understand racism in America
17 Black-owned Businesses to Support in Birmingham
17 Black-owned Restaurants in Birmingham
Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated annually on February 17.
Small gestures of kindness are known to brighten other people’s days. The link below has 100 examples of Random Acts to show kindness to strangers, non-profits, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, friends and loved ones.
100 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
Being kind means being aware of those around you and actively helping those in need. A nice comment, a smile, opening the door, giving honest compliments, and refusing to gossip are common examples of what it means to practice kindness.
There are many ways to integrate kindness in the classroom and the following links have resources, lessons, and ideas to teach students about the importance of kindness with multiple illustrations on how to practice kindness.
Random Acts of Kindness for Educators
Teaching Kindness in the Classroom by Celebrating the Small Things
Creating a Culture of Kindness in Your Classroom
10 Kindness Lessons and Activities for Elementary School
Kindness in the Classroom Curriculum Video
Below are links to articles that link kindness with health. Practicing kindness is an awesome experience for those around us, but there are multiple personal benefits one may experience from the act of kindness.
The Importance of Kindness
The Heart and Science of Kindness - Harvard
Click here to visit the link to a TED Talk by Rita Pierson. Throughout the video, she speaks on the value and importance of human connection in education and how she builds her students’ self-esteem and academic achievement at the same time.
Relationship Skills is one of five components that make up the CASEL’s Model of SEL. Relationship skills is best defined as the ability to build positive relationships with diverse groups or individuals by utilizing active listening, communication, and conflict resolutions skills. According to Greater Good in Education relationship skills include – initiating contact with others and forming a friendship, appropriately sharing one’s thoughts and feelings, communicating effectively, developing positive relationships, demonstrating cultural humility, practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving, resolving conflicts constructively, approaching relationships with respect, withstanding negative social pressure, resisting stereotypes, standing up in support for others, showing leadership, seeking or offering support and help when needed. A positive, healthy friendship among students, coworkers, parents, children, and peers is focused on the practice and implementation of trust, equality, compassion, honesty, and independence.
Below are resources for Make a Friend Day:
5 Requirements for a Strong Friendship
SEL for Students: Social Awareness and Relationship Skills
10 Friendship Skills Every Kid Needs
10 Ways to Make (and Keep) Friendships as an Adult
Friendship and SEL Activities for the Classroom:
Character Development: Being a Good Friend
Teaching Friendship in the Classroom
Lesson Plans to Teach Friendship
Black History Month is celebrated annually during the month of February. Black History Month is celebrated to highlight the achievements and accomplishments of African Americans. appreciate their culture, and reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice. Black History Month has greatly evolved from 1926, when this celebration was a week-long previously known as Negro History Week introduced by Carter G. Woodson (aka the "Father of Black History"). February 1st is also National Freedom Day, the anniversary of the approval of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in 1865.
In the classroom, while Black History Month is important, aim to reinforce that ‘Black History’ is American History. Many schools teach from Black history from a white-centered perspective, rather than tell the entire story. It is important to have truth in the classroom, as well difficult conversations about race. These conversations can build trust and respect if facilitated accurately. There are multiple websites linked below with activities to use in the classroom specifically for Black History Month, and ways to include Black history in the curriculum year-round.
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, & Diversity.”
Here are seven guiding principles for educators to explore when teaching Black history (recommended by LaGarrett J. King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri):
6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month
33 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond
20 pertinent classroom resources for Black History Month
Black History Month Activities for Classrooms (Grades K-12)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: Lesson Plans for K-12 students