Every day, we have the ability and opportunity to create a more accepting world. Even small acts of inclusion can have a big impact on making others feel accepted. Click the spaces below to see the many ways you can encourage inclusivity.

Have a family conversation

Look for informal opportunities, like dinner time or while on the way to school, to encourage conversations about implicit bias, diversity and inclusion. Having informal conversations is a great way to create a safe, open family environment in which you define and examine bias together. If you need a place to start, you can download our Family and Caregiver Guide, which provides a way to help you start a discussion about bias and discrimination at home using the original Love Has No Labels video. You can also look at ADL’s Table Talk guide to find topics to discuss with your family.

Embrace diverse media

Think about the media your family reads or watches consistently. Do the TV shows, books, games, movies and magazines you consume have a diverse cast of people and storylines, and explore perspectives different from your own? If not, you can start reading or watching more diverse media with your family, and discuss the themes together. Exposing your child to media featuring diverse characters and protagonists and discussing their identity groups can help to lay a foundation for valuing diversity and inclusion.
Lexie and her grandmother smiling Lexie and her grandmother smiling
“Even the smallest act of kindness speaks volumes for those who are affected. It’s only when we show our neighbors love that we overcome hate as a society.”

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Commit to thinking before you speak

We often use insensitive language out of habit or to be funny, not because we intend harm. But, insensitive language – which can include jokes based on stereotypes – can easily make some people feel unsafe or excluded. It is easier to break this habit when you and your family can commit to thinking before you speak — at least reminding each other that “there is probably a better way to say that.” Check out some language to be mindful of in our Questions to Self-Reflect.

Appeal to your family values

If a child is using biased language or joking inappropriately, communicate calmly but firmly that their language isn’t acceptable. You can say something like, “We don’t talk about people like that.” Ask if the child would like to talk, and emphasize that you’d like to help them understand the meaning of the words they are using, the impact those words have on people, and the importance of respecting differences and making everyone feel included.

Be a role model

Affirm your child’s identity and surround them with people and things that positively reflect those aspects of who they are. Model the kind of behavior you want them to display by demonstrating acts of love, acceptance and inclusion with the people you encounter in your everyday lives. By being a role model, you’re helping them become a role model within their own circles.

Respond to bias at home

If you encounter biased behavior or language at home, ask clarifying questions: “Why do you feel that way?” or “Are you saying everyone should feel this way?” Articulate your view: “You know, Dad, I actually see this differently. Here’s my experience.” By having a thoughtful conversation, you clear up any possible misunderstandings and create opportunities for further discussions.

Talk about it

If a family member makes a hurtful comment or poses an offensive question, it’s easy to shut down, put up walls, or disengage. Instead, try to show that you’re committed to strengthening your relationship, and that part of that is communicating about the things that make you uncomfortable. Say something like “Hey, I felt uncomfortable when you said ____ the other day. I really care about our relationship, and want to talk to you about this.

Anticipate and rehearse

If you think you may find yourself in situations where bias is likely to arise, try rehearsing possible responses like “Do you think some people might find that language hurtful?” or “What information are you basing that on?” Having a few responses at the ready will help you react quickly and confidently when the moment arises. By responding politely but firmly, you can lay the groundwork for a productive conversation while also making those who are experiencing bias feel welcome.