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"You have a voice." Why thousands of people are sharing a teacher's explanation of racism.

Talking to little ones about racism is, of course, never going to be an easy conversation. But it is a necessary one. 

Educating the next generation on the importance of ending racial discrimination is crucial, which is why a kindergarten teacher has made a 13-minute video for young children, in which she gently explains what racism is, how it spreads, and why it must end.

Teachers across the globe are now using the video to encourage conversations around discrimination in their classrooms. 

Watch: Indigenous Lives Matter. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

Vera Ahiyya, who has taught kindergarten for 13 years and works at a public school in New York, explains racism, before she reads the children's book Let's Talk About Race, in an effort to ensure her students are engaged in the discussion at a time of great momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"You may have noticed or heard your family talk about what's happening in the news beyond just the COVID virus which is spreading," Ahiyya explains. "We also are combatting a different kind of disease. This is not the disease you catch with germs from person to person but it's something that happens with the way that people think."

"Some people have the belief that people with black or brown skin should not have the same rights or privileges as people with white skin," she continues. "This is called racism and racism has happened in the United States for over 400 years."

The experienced teacher also encourages students, as young as three-years-old, to use their voice when they recognise someone being treated badly.

Ahiyya adds: "One way to stop racism is to call it out when you see it. That means, if you see someone being treated differently because of the colour of their skin, you have the voice, you make the choice, to say 'This is wrong.'

"I want you to remember how important your voice is from the time you can speak until the very end - your voice matters.

"And right now lots of black people really need your voice.

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"You can decide to say something or walk away, but your choice can impact the lives of a lot of people."

The video, uploaded by her channel 'The Tutu Teacher', has gone viral after attracting 100,000 views since the start of the month. 

On Instagram, Ahiyya shared why she made the video. 

"I made this video for the kindergarten students at my school. I realise this might be a helpful video for non-black children to also watch... I encourage young people to think about what actions they can take to use their voice to speak out against injustices."

It's not the only video teachers are using as a resource for education on racism to encourage constant conversations in their classrooms. 

The doll test is a famous experiment that shows kids being asked to choose between black, brown and white dolls. The majority of the kids picked white dolls, demonstrating the subconscious and systemic biases built into people from young ages.

As kindergarten teacher Ahiyya advocates, it's by initiating these educational and eye-opening conversations that the next generation can be informed on the urgent need to end racial discrimination.


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