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How to Start the New School Year with Summer Camp

5 Days of ‘Hues of You’ Fun

Lucretia Berry  •  July 9, 2024 

Teachers and school leaders, I can imagine that you are thinking, ‘launching the new school year with summer camp’ makes no sense. To clarify, Dr. Tehia Starker Glass and I recommend that you start each school year with a few of these lessons from Hues Of You Summer Camp. Implementing these lessons during the first week of school will foster community and connections in your classroom! The Hues Of You Summer Camp curriculum helps lay a foundation for building cultural competency and racial literacy, allowing you to teach respectful language, promote cultural appreciation, encourage empathy and respect, and create a safe, welcoming environment where all children feel valued and connected.

When you review the summer camp course overview and daily blog featuring lessons and activities (created for families of campers to follow along), you will notice how each concept and lesson builds upon the previous one allowing students to expand their capacity, over the course of five days, for cultivating a positive sense of self and community with their peers.

If you are interested in a consultation and/or demonstration for integrating Hues Of You Summer Camp lessons into your school or classroom, please feel free to reach out to me at connect@brownicity.com.

Summer Camp Course Overview

Welcome to HUES of YOU Camp, where we celebrate the richness of human diversity and empower all children to see, honor, and celebrate our many-hued, multicultural world. This camp is specifically designed for rising [first through fourth or third through eighth].

In partnership with the Cato College of Education, this unique camp offers an interactive, engaging, and developmentally appropriate experience designed to foster:

  • Holistic language development: Campers will learn and embrace vocabulary that accurately and respectfully describes diverse human characteristics and experiences.
  • Cultural appreciation: Through engaging activities, crafts, games, videos, and books, children will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for different cultures, ethnicities, and races.
  • Empathy and respect: Encouraging positive interactions and open dialogue, our camp facilitates empathy, respect, and understanding for all individuals, regardless of their background.
  • Belonging and connection: HUES of You Camp fosters a safe and inclusive environment where all children feel valued, seen, and heard, promoting a sense of belonging and community.

Summer Camp Daily Blog featuring Agenda, Lessons, & Activities

NOTE: The following daily blog, created for guardians of campers, reflects the camp experience for rising fifth through eighth graders. While the camp for first through fourth graders featured most of these lessons and activities, the pace and content was more suitable for younger students. For example, the Friday Film for first through fourth graders was Zootopia (Disney, 2018), instead of Zombies.

MONDAY: Uniquely YOU!

Today was all about being comfortable and confident in our own skin. Before we launch into building our capacity to appreciate the richness of human diversity and see, honor, and celebrate our many-hued, multicultural world, we learned first to value and appreciate ourselves. 

Activity 1: The Name Game

Goal: Appreciate your name, its meaning, its story, its energy and intention. Invite others to do the same and to pronounce your name correctly.

Resources:

  1. Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow 🎶Oregon Symphony StoryTime
  2. THAO: A Picture Book by Thao Lam

Activity 2: Hues of You!

Goal: Distinguish between phenotype and race. Understand how we get our skin and eye color and  hair texture. Understand that skin tones are also called hues. Hues are both a color and a shade of color. As humans, we all have hues. Our skin tones are simply hues of brown! Some are deep brown, some are light brown. But we are all shades of brown!

Resources: 

  1. Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You’re In by Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry (pp. 6-17, 18-24, and 36-37)
  2. All the Colors We Are/Todos los colores de nuestra piel: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color/La historia de por qué tenemos diferentes colores de piel by Katie Kissinger
  3. The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
  4. Hair Love | Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full) | Sony Pictures Animation 
  5. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry (Author), Vashti Harrison (Illustrator)
  6. A Rainbow in Brown by Pavonis Giron

Activity 3: Bare Books Reflection

Goal: Begin constructing bare books that will be a portfolio of lessons, reflections, and growth over the week of camp.

Resource: Bare Book

Homework: Share today’s lessons with your family and talk about where your ancestors may have originated according to the skin tone map. 

Tomorrow, come dressed to paint with artist Tiffany Trudewind!


TUESDAY: Hues of Brown Portraits

Today we built on the foundation we laid yesterday (i.e. phenotype, skin tone, hue, pigment, melanin, ancestors, indigenous hair type, follicle). Artist Tiffany Trudewind taught us the art of mixing primary colors to create our unique hues of brown, reiterating that we are all hues of brown! We continued to distinguish between phenotype (how we look) and ‘race,’ which is ‘social status and meaning imposed on our phenotype.’ Campers had so many great questions about how race was invented that we paused to show How America Invented Race (The History of White People in America)

Activity 1: Hues of You Paint Mixing & Portrait Painting

Goal: Mix primary colors to create your hue of brown. Paint a self-portrait, highlighting tones, features and hair color & texture. 

Resource: Artist Tiffany Trudewind

Activity 2: What Are Banned Books & Why Are They Banned?

Goal: Understand the motivation behind banning books.  Answer campers’ questions about current book bans, as many of the books we enjoy during camp have appeared on some banned book lists (e.g. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry)

Resource: The History of Banning Books by Above the Noise (PBS)

Activity 3: Family Ancestors and Their Origin Stories

Goal: Based on the Indigenous Skin Tone Map, theorize where your ancestors may have lived thousands of years ago. Understand how we all are interconnected and have moved and migrated.  

Resources: 

  1. Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You’re In by Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry (pp. 44-51)
  2. All the Colors We Are/Todos los colores de nuestra piel: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color/La historia de por qué tenemos diferentes colores de piel by Katie Kissinger

Homework: Share today’s lessons with your family! 

Tomorrow is Loving Day! We will share the history of its significance as we focus on social identity, justice, & belonging. 


WEDNESDAY: Social Identity

Today is Loving Day, commemorating the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. Learning about the Loving’s aligned perfectly with our deep dive into social identity such as race, ethnicity, nationality, and culture. To learn more about the history of how/why race was invented and then anti-miscegenation enacted, we watched  How America Outlawed Interracial Marriage and How American Made Skin Color Power (The History of White People in America)

Activity 1: Loving Day

Goal: Learn the history of anti-miscegenation and about the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia. 

Resources: 

  1. Loving Day
  2. How America Outlawed Interracial Marriage

Activity 2: Defining Social Identity

Goal: Understand the difference between the following terms which are often used interchangeably: race, ethnicity, nationality, culture. Each has a very different meaning. For example, people may describe a white person (a racial classification) as American (citizenship).  

Resource: Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You’re In by Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry (pp. 53-61)

Activity 3: Sorting People

Goal: Play the ‘Sorting People’ game which asks players to classify twenty different people based on the  image shown into the following racial categories: Native American, Black, Latino, White, Asian. Understand how difficult it is to classify people based on appearance only. 

Resource: Go Deeper, Race – The Power of An Illusion (PBS)

Activity 4: Respectfully Curious 

Goal: Identify harmful ‘conversation starters,’ like ‘What are you?’ Identify and create respectful language and phrases for asking questions, like ‘Can you teach me how to pronounce your name?’ 

Resource: Students’ experiences and questions

Activity 5: Bare Books Reflection

Goal: Continue constructing bare book portfolios featuring lessons and reflections over the week of camp.

Resource: Bare Book

Homework: Share today’s lessons with your family! 

Tomorrow we jump into JUSTICE – understanding what it is and how we cultivate it! 


THURSDAY: Justice & Just us!

Today we learned the difference between equality, equity, and justice. While each is good and often referenced interchangeably, they have distinctly different meanings and goals. 

We asked ourselves, ‘how can we design our future with justice as the goal?’

We also connected justice with ‘just us’ – how we see ourselves. It’s important that we know how to affirm who we are so that we appreciate our significance in the world.   

Activity 1: Justice

Goal: Understand the true meaning of justice and how it offers different solutions than equality and equity. Understand how injustice is created.

Resources: 

  1. Equality, Equity, Justice poster.
  2. Race Cars: A children’s book about white privilege by Jenny Devenny
  3. Driven
  4. Segregated by Design

Activity 2: ‘Just Us’ Affirmations

Goal: Generate affirmations for ourselves. Emphasize our significance to this world. Understand that appreciating others can not happen without us first appreciating our authentic selves. 

Resources: 

  1. I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes 
  2. Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You’re In by Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry (pp. 30-31, 40)

Activity 3: Mirror Moments

Goal: Adhese mirror inside of Bare Book. Write, draw, and affix words of affirmation around the perimeter of your mirror.  Reflect. 

Resources: mirror adhesives, stickers, bare books. 

Activity 4: Bare Books Reflection

Goal: Continue constructing bare book portfolios featuring lessons and reflections over the week of camp.

Resource: Bare Book

Homework: Share today’s lessons with your family! 

Tomorrow, we learn about Juneteenth and watch a movie that encapsulates themes from this week’s camp.


FRIDAY: Juneteenth & The American Dream

Today we learned about Juneteenth – its history, significance, official flag design and colors, and why red foods are associated with this new national holiday (2022) that has been recognized by millions for generations since 1865. 

Activity 1: Juneteenth

Goal: Learn the history and significance of Juneteenth, its official flag, and celebratory foods & festivals. 

Resources: 

  1. The Story of Juneteenth by Dorena Williamson
  2. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
  3. TED ED: What is Juneteenth, and why is it important? – Karlos K. Hill and Soraya Field Fiorio
  4. Juneteenth Song for Kids (w/ Alphabet Rockers) | What is Juneteenth Celebration
  5. Juneteenth coloring sheets (in bare books)
  6. Lift Every Voice and Sing” 

Activity 2: Bare Books Reflection

Goal: Continue constructing bare book portfolios featuring lessons and reflections over the week of camp.

Resource: Bare Book

Activity 3: The American Dream Game 

Goal: Play The American Dream Game, which  delves into the realms of role play, curiosity, and experiential learning to equip campers with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of the world around them. Actively promote positive outcomes. Increased awareness about the multifaceted dimensions of identity, fostering a stronger sense of empathy towards those experiencing bias. 

Resource:  The American Dream Game by Point Made Learning

Activity 4: Zombies (movie by Disney, 2018)

Goal: Watch the movie, Zombies. Recognize and reflect on the movie’s themes that resonate with conversations we had during camp.

Resource: Zombies (Disney, 2018). Official movie trailer.

Homework: Share today’s lessons with your family! 

Thank you for allowing us to teach, and learn from your children – they are curious, funny, and just plain brilliant. For additional guidance and resources, check out our book, Teaching for Justice and Belonging, a Journey for Educators and Parents. In the meantime, please use the resources we have shared to continue to have conversations with your children. And remember…

“If we don’t keep them in the dark, our children will light up the world!”

Lucretia Berry (TED Talk, 2017)


Lucretia carter berry
Lucretia Carter Berry, PhD, is a distinguished author, educator, and speaker, as well as the visionary founder of Brownicity, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering education designed to inspire a culture of true belonging and justice for all. Lucretia is also a valued contributor to incourage.me, sharing her insights and wisdom on topics of faith, resilience, and personal growth. Through her books, Teaching for Justice and Belonging – A Journey for Educators and Parents (2022), Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You Are In (2022), and What LIES Between Us – Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing (2016), her impactful TED Talk, and her commitment to building just communities, Lucretia encourages meaningful engagement that transcends boundaries, fostering personal development, resilience, and the transformative capacity within each of us.