It includes a series of conversation guides and learning-based challenges to help parents and educators lead discussions on racial equity.

By Hana Hong
July 28, 2020
Credit: Getty Images

In a world where racism is still rampant and racial tensions are heightened to a new degree, talking to your kids about race is a tough task to tackle. With the rise of recent events like the death of George Floyd, the need for having the “race talk" with children has become as necessary as discussing the birds and the bees.

In an effort to ease the process, Apple has released a guide for teachers and parents on how to discuss race and equity in the classroom (or at home). This guide marks the latest rollout of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, a new program focused on education, criminal justice reform, and economic equity that the brand announced last June in order to challenge the systemic barriers that exist for communities of color.

The launch comes one week after Apple announced a new Impact Accelerator that will focus on investing in minority-owned businesses. The goal was to drive positive outcomes in its supply chain and in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. 

For the brand’s next move, it’s encouraging parents and teachers to have challenging conversations about critical topics, and providing them resources during a time when so much in the education space remains up in the air. 

"Over the last few months—we’ve seen a renewed dialogue on race, on representation and diversity, on the injustice and inequality still with us today," Lisa Jackson, vice president of Apple and head of the company’s $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, says in a video announcing the new initiative. "And so often, it’s been young people who've led those conversations, and who’ve helped move us closer to the future we wish to see. We are launching a new initiative, one to help parents and teachers, create a dialogue about race and justice, and inequality in a way that’s empowering and accessible for their students.”

The first challenge is titled "Create Opportunities for Meaningful Conversations about Race.” The conversation guide comes in a 33MB document in Apple Pages format, and provides a common vocabulary and framework for discussing race and racism. All of the hands-on activities—which include drawing sheets, brainstorming interview topics, and hatching a plan of action—are meant to support young people, parents, and teachers as they work through the process. 

The Apple Professional Learning team will also be holding a series of virtual conferences to provide walkthroughs, and to answer questions about navigating difficult conversations and creating the best learning experience for every student.

And this is just the beginning. Over the next several months, Apple will be releasing subsequent learning-based challenges and related conversation guides to facilitate each new challenge related to race and inequality. 

“We can’t expect lasting change if we don’t bring those difficult conversations into the classroom, or if we—as parents and teachers—don’t engage with young people who have questions and ideas of their own,” Jackson says. “None of this is easy. But it’s so important that we don’t miss this moment. We’re offering these resources for any parent or teacher who wants to start a dialogue, but needs a little help finding a foothold or a place to start.”

Ready to have the race talk with your students and children? The guide is available now to download on Apple's website.