THE SOCIAL JUSTICE RADICAL LIBRARY

Of, By, and For the Children, Youth, People, and Educators that Represent Us All


"In the social justice and equity movement, the concept of radical inclusivity - the intentional inclusion of all persons - is not new. As such, the deliberate actions taken towards social justice includes the very real need for radical inclusivity that demands access be made available to all communities. As vital as accessibility and opportunity are in the social justice movement, it must operate in tandem with action that grants all stakeholders voice, visibility and a seat at the table. Social responsibility, civil rights, and democratic values are deeply connected with information literacy and education. It is, thus, our ethical and professional calling to enact radical inclusivity in whatever spaces of influence we traverse." J.Farr

We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it's never a question of 'critical mass.' It's always about critical connections. ~ Grace Lee Boggs

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

This website is educational in its intent and seeks to provide a library of resources that educates, energizes, and empowers those who are interested in, or are already involved in and committed to promoting social justice through books, media and technology. Thanks to friends and colleagues who shared their love of reading, their wealth of knowledge, and their passion for social justice work.

From Lee & Low Books ~

Our motto, “about everyone, for everyone,” is as urgent today as it was when we started publishing books in 1993. Despite the best efforts of LEE & LOW BOOKS and other publishers and imprints that focus on diversity, the proportion of books that feature racial and ethnic diversity has not increased. For nearly as long as we have been publishing, only about 10 percent of children’s books have contained diverse themes, even though 37 percent of the United States population are identified as people of color.

Even as we are expanding our definition of diversity to include all groups that are underrepresented in children’s books, we continue to be deeply committed to racial and ethnic diversity. As the largest children’s book publisher of diverse books in the US, LEE & LOW recognizes the importance of talking to children about race early and often, and to celebrating authors, illustrators, characters, and readers of diverse backgrounds.

The right book can foster empathy, dispel stereotypes, prompt discussions about race and ethnicity, and inspire children to imagine not only a world that includes them but also a world where they are the heroes of their own stories. Our books serve as both mirrors and windows, enabling children to see themselves, one another, and the diversity of their world.

Read: Diversity: What Can We Do About It?

Teaching Tough Topics Using Children's Literature

Books at reduced cost are available to educators from NEA's partner, First Book at fbmarketplace.org

NEA RESOURCES

  • Diversity Toolkit—Strategies for enhancing effectiveness in classrooms and schools at www.nea.org/tools/30402.htm
  • C.A.R.E.: Strategies for Closing Achievement Gaps—More strategies to promote culturally responsive pedagogy at http://www.nea.org/home/13550.htm
  • Promoting Educators’ Cultural Competence To Better Serve Culturally Diverse Students—Policy brief at www.nea.org/assets/docs/PB13_CulturalCompetence08.pdf
  • Time for a Change: Diversity in Teaching Revisited—recruiting and retaining a diverse, highly qualified workforce—2014 report at www.nea.org/assets/docs/Time_for_a_Change_Diversity_in_Teaching_Revisited_(web).pdf
  • Why Cultural Competence? Six researchers from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds discuss closing achievement gaps at www.nea.org/home/39783.htm