Being Intentional About Race and Young Children

Talking about race with young children can be difficult. Though adults often think avoiding the subject shields a child from racial issues or racism, the fact remains that children see race, whether it is discussed or not. Parents, educators, caregivers, and community leaders have a responsibility to be proactive in having conversations about race with children and making an intentional effort to help them understand what skin color and other physical characteristics mean in age-appropriate ways.


In partnership with P.R.I.D.E. and Frick Pittsburgh, join Trying Together for a day of professional development and explore how we, as early childhood educators, afterschool providers, and families, can create a positive environment to discuss race with young children. The day features Dr. Erin N. Winkler, professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Then, participate in two workshops. Workshop presenters include Sheba G., Dr. Aisha White and Medina Jackson from P.R.I.D.E., Wolf Trap teaching artist Celeta Hickman, and Molly Kilbridge from Frick Pittsburgh along with Dr. Kathryn Carroll, Kindergarten teacher at Pittsburgh Faison K-5 . After you register, we will email you for your workshop preferences.

The UnConference includes registration to the P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series featuring Dr. Erin Winkler’s keynote on Thursday, September 27, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., at the Frick Pittsburgh.

Child care services will be provided by Sweet Dreams Childcare during the event from 5 – 7 p.m. If interested, please indicate during registration. There are limited spots for child care and it is first come, first serve. There is no cost for this service (it is free).

Registration for the Speaker Series event is now open below:

Date & Location

Saturday, September 29
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Frick Art and Historical Center

How to Register

Tickets for this UnConference are currently sold-out. You may add your name to the waitlist below. Registered attendees can download event details and workshop descriptions here.

When the workshops are finalized, you will receive an email from Yu-Ling to select your preferred workshops. We will do our best to place you in your requested workshop, but this is not guaranteed. There is limited space in each workshop and workshop placement is based on the date of your registration.

Please email Yu-Ling at for more information.

What do I receive?

  • 5 PQAS/DHS credits and Act 48
  • Light breakfast and lunch
  • Networking with colleagues
  • Hands-on, interactive workshop sessions
  • Refreshed or refined thinkng about our work with young children
  • Refund policy

Attendees can receive refunds if requested thirty (30) days in advance of the UnConference date. Please email Yu-Ling at

Related Event

The P.R.I.D.E. Program Speaker Series will welcome Dr. Erin N. Winkler, professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, before the UnConference on Thursday, September 27 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Frick Pittsburgh to discuss how adults can be intentional in discussing race with young children.

P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series Event Schedule:

  • 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Networking and Registration
  • 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Keynote by Dr. Erin Winkler, followed by Q&A

Ticket sales will open on Thursday, September 6 for this P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series event.


Please contact event planner Yu-Ling Cheng at or call 412-421-3889. For bus information, please visit for specific route information.

Thank You To Our Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our: co-hosts, P.R.I.D.E. and Frick Art and Historical Center, series sponsor PNC Grow Up Great and sponsors Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)*, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Hillman Family Foundation, and to our workshop partners!

*Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of OCDEL; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practice or organization imply endorsement by the Commonwealth.


Trying Together, PRIDE, and The Frick logos



PNC Grow Up Great logo



W.K. Kellogg Foundation logo




Hillman Family Foundation logo


About Dr. Erin Winkler

Dr. Erin Winkler headshot

Erin N. Winkler is associate professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies at the University of California-Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is author of the book, Learning Race, Learning Place: Shaping Racial Identities and Ideas in African American Childhoods. She has recently consulted for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, working to train museum staff to have productive conversations about race and racism with visitors of all ages and backgrounds (2016), and serving as an instructor in the Museum’s week-long workshop for K-12 teachers, “Let’s Talk: Teaching Race in the Classroom” (2017).

About P.R.I.D.E.

The P.R.I.D.E. Program is part of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development within the School of Education.  At P.R.I.D.E. our focus is on helping young Black children, aged 3 to 8, develop a positive racial identity. Studies have shown that when children are socialized to embrace their race, ethnicity, and heritage, it can lead to numerous positive outcomes. This event is part of the P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series, which invites parents, caregivers, educators, and the community at-large to learn about and engage in discussions about race, education, and young children.

Being Intentional About Race and Young Children UnConference logo