Even without volunteering, there are ways to encourage your child to celebrate human differences and give messages that contradict stereotypes. Read children's books with characters from other cultures and talk to your kids about what they see. Watch television with your child and point out the stereotypes you observe. Go to local ethnic festivals and introduce your child to friends who represent a variety of lifestyles, cultures, and religions. Intervene if you ever hear your child make remarks that are racist, homophobic, sexist or mean. Don't get angry, but don't let your child make the excuse that he or she was "just kidding" either. Make your home reflect cultural diversity by the art, music, and books you display; the movies and television shows you choose to watch, and the restaurants your family frequents.

Talk to your child:

  • What similarities are there between you and your friends? What are the differences?

  • Have you ever noticed someone being treated differently because of the way they looked? How did that make you feel?

Book to share: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. Ages 3 and up. Celebrate diversity with this touching story.