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Early Risers is podcast from Little Moments Count and MPR with frank facts, engaging stories and real how-tos for anyone who cares about raising children with a clear-eyed understanding of cultural differences, race and implicit bias.
More about the Early Risers podcast and host Dianne Haulcy of Think Small.
Video: Teaching Anti-Racism: Making Sense of Race and Racism for Young Children
From Little Moments Count: Racial Justice Resources
From NAEYC: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families
PDF: Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn About Race
Think Small Institute: Additional Resources
Online discussions: MPR News Raising Kids in Minnesota group on Facebook.
Bias and the Developing Brain
January 19, 2022
The human brain is hardwired to recognize patterns—that’s how we figure out the world, and why humans have been able to adapt and survive over millennia. But the brain’s ability to quickly form cognitive associations can also lead to racial biases, even in very young children. On the season two finale of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy speaks with University of Minnesota cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Damien Fair about how we can train our brains to recognize bias and why the first thousand days of a child’s life are so critical for brain development.
Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan—A Live Recording
December 29, 2021
On this special episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy sits down with Minnesota’s 50th Lieutenant Governor, Peggy Flanagan, for an in-person, intimate and wide-ranging conversation. They discuss how she’s been living through the challenges of this moment, including how her experience as an Indigenous woman, state official and parent have shaped how she thinks about issues of racial equity. This conversation was recorded for the 6th Little Moments Count annual meeting held November, 2021.
Making immigrant and refugee stories visible: a conversation with children’s book author Bao Phi
December 15, 2021
Bao Phi’s family came to Minnesota in the 1970s as refugees from Vietnam. He experienced both racism and feeling invisible growing up in Minneapolis. Once he became a parent, he wanted things to be different for his child, which inspired him to start writing stories that weren’t available to him when he was younger. In this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy explores how Phi’s award-winning children’s books can be wonderful tools for opening conversations with young children about the experiences of immigrant and refugee families.
What’s Happening in the Classroom? Early Childhood Educators and Implicit Bias
December 1, 2021
On this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy speaks with Sheila Williams Ridge about how she’s training a new generation of early childhood educators to recognize their own implicit biases—and how teachers and parents can respond when racialized incidents happen in the classroom.
Rethinking Thanksgiving: How to speak to young children about historical and racialized trauma
November 17, 2021
The Thanksgiving “pilgrim and Indian” stories that many of us were taught as children perpetuate harmful stereotypes and whitewash a painful history of violence and colonization that continues to impact Indigenous communities today. How can we have a more honest conversation with our children about this history? On this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy speaks with early childhood educator and Dakota language activist Vanessa Goodthunder. She is the director of C̣aƞṡayapi Waḳaƞyeża Owayawa Oṭi, which is Dakota for “Lower Sioux Children Are Sacred School,” an early childhood program in the Lower Sioux Indian community in southwestern Minnesota where children learn Dakota history and language as their birthright. Goodthunder explains why every day is Indigenous People’s Day and how she uses language as a tool to heal from historical trauma.
Race Matters: A Conversation about Transracial Adoption and Multiracial Families
November 3, 2021
Being able to talk about race is an important life skill for all parents, but especially for parents raising multiracial families. When a family adopts a child of a different race, questions about race and racism cannot be avoided. On this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy speaks with transracial adoption expert Beth Hall, co-author of “Inside Transracial Adoption” and executive director of Pact, An Adoption Alliance in Oakland, California. Hall also has personal experience with transracial adoption, as the white adoptive parent of two adult children both born in the United States—a son who is African American and a daughter with roots in Guatemala. Through her personal and professional experiences, Hall has gathered valuable insights and advice for anyone who wants to talk about race with young children.
The Danger of Being ‘Color Silent’: Talking about Race with Young Children
October 20, 2021
Young children are like sponges, absorbing information about the world around them. Children have already started to internalize racialized messages about their value and self-worth by the time they are three to four years old. Psychologist Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, an expert in racial identity development and the author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race” calls this “the smog we’re all breathing.”
Teaching Anti-Racism; A Live Recording
June 25, 2021
This special episode sounds a little different than our normal one-on-one conversations. This is an edited recording of the Early Risers event we hosted on June 17th called Teaching Anti-Racism. There is an incredible panel of experts on early childhood, racial identity and racism including Dr. Rose Marie Allen, Dianne Haulcy and Dr. Brigitte Vittrup. It’s a riveting conversation about common barriers to talking about race and racism with young children and what to say to get these conversations going.
Connecting Children to Indigenous Cultures
May 26, 2021
In schools and old children’s books, Native people are often talked about in terms of history. But Brook Lafloe has been creating toys and teaching tools to connect all children to contemporary Native culture in an authentic and respectful way. In this conversation with podcast host Dianne Haulcy, Brook shares the traditional Anishinaabe teachings she learned about race and respect. And she shares how caregivers from all cultural backgrounds can adopt this approach to race and help their children connect with indigenous cultures.
Where Does Racism Come From? Best Selling Author and Therapist Resmaa Menakem Breaks It Down for Caregivers
May 19, 2021
This week we’re asking a pretty fundamental question that parents might get from their kids: where does racism come from? In this deep and lively conversation host Dianne Haulcy speaks with Resmaa Menakem - therapist, coach and best selling author of My Grandmother’s Hands. He breaks down how racism is connected to generational trauma and he describes practices that can heal the trauma and strengthen anti-racist thinking and action.