Prejudice and racism in childhood

This research program focuses on the socialization influences on children's own ethnic-racial identities and their attitudes towards outgroups. The main study is financed by 

 an NWO-Vici grant) and  addresses questions of the development of ethnic-racial prejudice and racism in children, and how parents, schools, and media shape this development. My activities in policy-making take place at different levels of academic governance. Outreach activities include public lectures and event series, as well as a forthcoming book for the Dutch general public about 'growing up in full color' (to be published in November 2021).


Dutch tags: racisme, vooroordelen, diversiteit, opvoeding, onderwijs en onderzoek

Featured publications

Diversity in children's books

De Bruijn, Y., Emmen, R.A.G., Mesman, J. (2021). Ethnic Diversity in Children’s Books in the Netherlands, Early Childhood Education Journal, 49, 413–423.
Zie ook artikel op website RTL.

Prejudice in Dutch children

De Bruijn, Y., Jansen, C., Emmen, R.A.G., Mesman, J. (2021). Interethnic Prejudice against Muslims among White Dutch Children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 51, 203-221. 

Ethnic diversity in textbooks

Mesman, J., Van Veen, P.D., Van den Rozenberg, T., Zicha, L., Groeneveld, M.G. (2019).  Etnische diversiteit en stereotypering in schoolboeken voor de brugklas. Rapport voor uitgeversorganisatie de GEU.

Featured media

Are children colorblind?

Online lecture in Dutch (2017) for the Universiteit van Nederland (viewed > 21.000 times). Also in English for The Hague Talks

Bicultural parenting 


Public event about raising children in bicultural families (2020) as part of the Skin Deep series. In Dutch.

Ethnic diversity in textbook 

Public event in Pakhuis de Zwijger (2019). Together with Daudi van Veen, Sunny Bergman, Miguel Heilbron and others. In Dutch.  


Antiracist parenting

In Dutch media (selection):

Parool (2020), De Volkskrant (2020), NU.nl (2020), De Volkskrant (2017), Trouw (2016)


Antiracism in academia

Webinar on Antiracism at universities

Dutch webinar by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences , together with Mitchell Esajas, Sheila Sitalsing, and Vinod Subramaniam.


Podcast antiracism at Leiden University College

As part of the Students-4-Students program by ECHO, we recorded a podcast with LUC students Shivalika Madkulgar and Dewi Laurente, chairs of the LUC Race & Ethnicity Committee. 

National Advisory Committee 

As a member of the Dutch national advisory council for diversity and inclusion in higher education and research, I contribute to advising the ministry of Education van OCW about the national action plan. Link to video of launch.

Also interesting

Me, Asian?!

In 2018-2019, a team of Asia enthusiasts at Leiden University College organized an event series called 'Me, Asian?!' for young adults of Asian descent in The Hague. The goal of these events are to bring people together from different Asian groups, reflect on their Asian heritage and how they are viewed in Dutch society. I co-hosted the series with writer Gustaaf Peek. The series was a big success, and a summary of the events can be found in this newsletter.