My husband, Scott Burks, and I are the proud parents of a fifth grader at TNSM. Along with being committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming world for our son, much of my professional and volunteer work involves issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In a recent TNSM Diversity Committee meeting, we discussed ways to keep this important work moving forward in our community over the summer. In that spirit, I have created a list of things your family can read together.
Summer Reading Suggestions that Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
Please read and discuss:
- A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara
- We March by Shane W. Evans
- Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
- We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
- We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson
- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
- The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez
- This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell
- Blended by Sharon Draper
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
- Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey
- This article about how children develop racial and cultural awareness
A few months ago, our committee hosted a Zoom event for our school community where we had conversations about fostering racial literacy in our children. The members of my small group shared the things we are doing in our own homes to raise children who are racially literate. Since our son was born, Scott and I have tried to be very intentional about normalizing conversations about diversity and social justice. We do this, in part, by choosing books, movies, and activities that facilitate family discussions about topics that sometimes seem hard to navigate. While we do not always have the answers, I do think we have created a family environment in which no question or topic is off limits, and we are raising a child who sees diversity and social justice as normal (and important) topics for everyday discussion.
If you are interested in facilitating family discussions about diversity, watch for Part II next week include lists of things your family can watch together as well as local activities your family can engage in over the summer that focus on diversity.
Randi Burlew (Committee Member)