Starting the Conversation About Race and Racism with your Children

Part 1

Part 2

The tragic deaths of black individuals at the hands of police have sparked worldwide unrest, and the last several months have led to some difficult conversations for families, especially those with young children who are learning about race and racism at different levels of comprehension and experience.

How does one talk about these topics? Where should they begin the conversation? The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is hosting two free virtual webinars to give caregivers and parents an opportunity to pose their questions to experts in the fields of early childhood education and psychology. 

To provide the best experience for all participants, there will be two panels - one for families of children ages 5 and younger, and a second for families of kids ages 6 to 13. 

This webinar is brought to you in collaboration with the Metro YMCAs’ African American Resource Network Employee Resource Group.

Dates & Times

The program will take place via Zoom and registration is required to participate. The event link will be emailed to registrants at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

Moderator & Panelists:


Dustin Hausner - Moderator

Dustin Hausner graduated Columbia University with his M.S in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. He has received training from the New York Peace Institute, International Center for Ethno-Religious Conflict, Metta Center for Nonviolence and the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. He has been trained in areas of mediation, conflict resolution, and nonviolence. Dustin has received a number of honors including being a forty under forty recipient by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation and recipient of the Social Justice Award from the Nyack NAACP Branch. Dustin currently works at the Jewish Outreach and Program Director at the Wayne YMCA.

Karol Espejo - Panelist

Karol Espejo is a licensed social worker and currently serves as an elementary school counselor for the BRIDGE Inc. in the Caldwell/West Caldwell School District. Karol has provided therapy to children, adolescents, adults and families. In her current role, she has created and implemented classroom curriculum on topics including racial diversity, cultural competence, community inclusion, self-esteem and mindfulness among others. Karol has experience working with diverse populations and varying presenting problems, and is skilled and interested in helping individuals and families with depression, anxiety, ADHD, behavior problems, and emotional regulation. Prior to working in New Jersey, she resided in Maryland where she worked as a therapist at Family Services Inc. through the Linkages to Learning Program treating children and families. Karol has also worked as the Latino Outreach Program Coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Montgomery County, where she provided bilingual psycho-education on a variety of diagnoses to family members and the community. She earned her Master’s of Social Work from the National Catholic School of Social Services at the Catholic University of America, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Michael Lockett - Panelist

A designer, art director, and artist, Michael Lockett is a lifelong storyteller. From the time he first picked up a crayon, he has been designing, storytelling, and creating. Outside of work, he has volunteered at food pantries and taught and coached martial arts, soccer, and baseball. In his hometown of Nyack, NY, he runs the YMCA's after-school program at Upper Nyack Elementary School, serves on the Planning Board, Environmental Committee, NAACP, and is training to become a part of the VCS and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, a Louisiana-based organization dedicated to the work of undoing racism everywhere.

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Lynnette Marshall - Panelist

Lynnett Marshall works for the Nyack Union Free School District as Nyack Basics Coordinator, where she builds readiness for life and for learning by putting tools into the hands of all parents. She is focused on the imperative nature of intentional early engagement with young children from birth to age 3, when 80 percent of brain development occurs. She spent 21 years as an Early Childhood Educator at Riverview Nursery School in Nyack, NY. She serves on the Rockland County YMCA Board of Directors and Rockland County YMCA Executive Committee, is a YMCA Youth and Government Advisor, and a member of the NY State Y Foundation Board. She is a member of the Nyack Branch NAACP, and the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network Board, and volunteers at the Nyack Center.

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Rachel Tricarico - Panelist

Rachel Tricarico has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Northwestern University. The rigorous yet enlightening graduate program helped her to confront her own traumas, prejudices, and occasional negative thinking patterns, and it is where she discovered her passion for breaking racial barriers in counseling. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University. Growing up in a multicultural family, she knows first-hand the impact of what being seen and heard for exactly who you are means. She assists clients with many different clinical issues including: anxiety, depression, identity development, kids- divorce, trauma (including racial), ADHD, life transitions, LGBTQ issues, stress, work stress, post-grad depression, cultural conflicts, childhood trauma, failure to launch, relationship conflicts, and wellness. She currently works with The BRIDGE Inc.

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