Diversity and Inclusion Read Alouds and Resources

Diversity and Inclusion:  A Conversation All Year Long

“What we are ethically called to do is create a safe space in our schools and classrooms where all students can walk in and, for that day or hour, take off the crushing weight of their armor, hang it on a rack, and open their heart to truly be seen.”

-Brene Brown

“I am a story. So are you. So is everyone.

 

 If enough of these stories are told,

then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story.

 

The differences are merely in the details.”

 

 

-Julius Lester

Days or months dedicated to exploring and celebrating a particular diversity or heritage can impart valuable awareness and information about a group of individuals, their history, and their experiences, but it can also make those who happen to be in the often marginalized group feel on the spot or centered out depending upon the approach. It may also be viewed as checking off a box rather than authentically valuing the many stories and experiences, differences, hardships and adversities different groups have experienced.

 

So, how about diversity as a conversation all year long…

 

*Note to educators* 

There are many topics as we learn about histories of damage that bring up strong emotions for students especially if they have heritage in a group that was marginalized.

Sensitivity is key.

It is also important to keep in mind that some students might be descendant of groups that were instrumental in the damage. Shaming these students for past wrongs of their ancestors will not serve to bridge relationship between groups or foster community.

 

“The number one feeling contributing

to disconnection

is shame,

the most toxic

of human emotions.” 

– Brene Brown

Below is a collection of read alouds to get the conversations rolling.

Choosing books regularly to start and then continue the conversation about diversity will promote increased awareness, a more inclusive focus, and stronger bonds within your classroom community.

Where Are You From?

by Yamile Saied Mendez

An unkind question becomes an opportunity for conversation and self-acceptance―thanks to a wise grandpa.
A great book for exploring personal backgrounds and histories, celebrating diversity, and heartwarming family relationships.

Same Difference

by Calida Garcia Rawles

Same Difference addresses the sensitive and sometimes divisive issues of beauty and identity. Vivid illustrations capture the spirit and innocence of Lida and Lisa, two first cousins who find themselves at odds with each other over their physical differences. With the help of their wise grandmother, the girls soon realize that their bond is deeper than what they see and our differences are what make us beautiful.

Happy in Our Skin

by Fran Manushkin

Is there anything more splendid than a baby’s skin? Cocoa-brown, cinnamon, peaches and cream. As children grow, their clever skin does, too, enjoying hugs and tickles, protecting them inside and out, and making them one of a kind. Fran Manushkin’s rollicking text and Lauren Tobia’s illustrations paint a breezy and irresistible picture of the human family―and how wonderful it is to be just who you are.

Parent Resources: