Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events

  • For Parents, Families, and Caregivers
Family Sitting Around Table at Mealtime

About Table Talk

Families often want to discuss news stories and other timely societal events. It's a great opportunity to engage children in rich conversation, share important values and encourage lifelong interest in the news. These talks can happen on the way to school, during a walk or over a meal. Research shows that dinnertime conversation benefits the health, emotional and academic outcomes for children of all ages. Each Table Talk guide below includes a topic summary, questions to start the conversation and dig deeper, ideas to take action and additional resources.

Here are some tips for discussion:

  • Find out what young people know and use the summary information to expand upon their prior knowledge. Ask what else they want to know and research together to learn more. 
  • When discussing the topic, ask young open ended questions that deepen the conversation. Be mindful not to judge their responses and listen thoughtfully.   
  • Think together about a child-level action they can take; this can be something they do on their own or something you do together or as a family.       

The Purpose and Power of Protest

Hennessy Garcia at New York City Students 4 Justice protest, 2020

Hennessy Garcia at New York City Students 4 Justice protest, 2020.

In the wake of George's Floyd's murder in May 2020 by the police, protests erupted across the United States. The first protest took place in Minneapolis, MN the night after George Floyd was killed. Within days, protests were taking place in all fifty states and more than 140 cities nationwide. Tens of thousands of people also gathered in countries around the world to support the protests and show solidarity. In a recent poll, 74% of Americans said they support the protests that have taken place since Floyd’s killing. The impact of the protests is already evident in several cities where steps are being taken toward a broader set of law enforcement reforms.

Overall, these protests are focusing on Black Lives Matter, racial injustice in the criminal justice system and countering systemic racism in society at large.

Engage your family in a discussion about the purpose, history and impact of protests.


Previous Table Talks

What is Net Neutrality?

On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to dismantle net neutrality regulations that were passed in 2015. Discuss with youth what net neutrality means and how this veto will impact people’s ability to express their thoughts and ideas online.

Hate Symbols

We see symbols every day in all aspects of our lives. Lately, a proliferation of hate symbols is increasing concern. Use this discussion guide to engage youth in conversations about swastikas and other hate symbols.   

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