Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources
Below are books, articles, films, and other types of media that Lab Community members have been using and talking about as well as books for all ages kindly suggested by Politics and Prose bookstore. There are many more out there, but this is a starting point.
Happy In Our Skin by Fran Manushkin - This book is about how each new baby (and eventually child) is unique, from their skin tone to freckles, scabs etc. There are many different children of various ethnicity, religions (Muslim and orthodox jew), and abilities (children in wheelchairs, etc.)
The Color of Us by Karen Katz - A book about a seven-year-old who wants to paint a picture of herself. When she and her mom go through the neighborhood to go find paint, she learns there are many different shades for many different people.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman - A book about Casey, a boy who loves to play with blocks, puzzles and dump trucks, but also he loves to dress up in sparkly, shimmery, glittery clothes. When he decides to go to the park in his new sparkly clothes, he gets made fun of and his older sister stands up for him.
Counting On Community by Innosanto Nagara - This book is a follow up to A is for Activist. In this book each number, 1-10, counts up all the ways we enjoy our diverse communities, from potlucks to gardening to helping our neighbors.
Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian - This book is pretty silly! It's about two worms who love each other and of course, they have to get married. The big questions, who wears the tux? who wears the dress? It doesn't matter, as long as they love each other!
Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh - A book about Sylvia Mendez, a student in California who helped end segregation in the state 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education.
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman - A girl who has two of everything, two arms, two legs, two pets and two mommies. When Heather starts school she is worried about the fact that she doesn't have a dad but when her and her classmates draw pictures of their families she realizes that all their families are different, not just hers.
*The first two books in this section are picture books, but the subject matter is much easier to address with a bit of an older crowd in terms of understanding the issues and being able to make the connections back to their own lives.*
This is How We Do It by by Matt Lamothe - In this book kids can follow seven real kids in their daily lives in seven countries around the world - Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda and Russia. These kids eat breakfast, go to school, play sports and spend time with their families.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders - This book follows the history of the Gay Pride Flag and activist Harvey Milk and the flag's designer, Gilbert Baker. It covers LGBT history from the late 1970s to events happening today.
Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard - This book is about a girl named Drita who has to leave her home country of Kosovo due to a war taking place. Her family settles in New York and deals with all of the struggles that come with moving cultures. After some challenges at school she makes friends with a typical America girl, Maxie and they work together to teach their classmates about Drita's life and her family's struggles.
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley - A mystery novel that follows a variety of kids in a Harlem community who are facing a wide variety of challenges from homelessness to racial issues.
El Deafo by Cece Bell - A graphic novel that follows a Deaf student who's worried about making new friends at school with her bulky- but powerful, and very awkward hearing aid.
Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages - A girl's fight for equal rights on the baseball field. Set in the recent past, a girl fights not other cultural assumptions but hard and fast rules to try and play baseball with the boys. She also sets out to prove that she's not the only girl who can play baseball.
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds -Genie and his big brother Ernie leave Brooklyn and spend the summer with their grandparents in Virginia. Their grandfather is bind and despite his disabilities wants to teach the boys how to be 'men' and one of them is more interested in just being himself.
The March Trilogy by John Lewis - A trio of graphic novels that follow US Representative John Lewis' experience in the civil rights movement.
George by Alex Gino - A book about a kid named George who knows she's a girl, but everyone else sees a boy. George ends up wanting to try out for the school play to play the female lead but she's worried that no one will accept her being herself.
Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani - This book follows the story of a young girl who's family is caught up in the tension between India and Pakistan in the late 1940s. Nisha, the girl, is half-muslim and half-hindu, quiet literally caught in the middle of a wider cultural rift in Post-British Colonial India.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan - Esperanza, a child in Mexico, has to flee with her mother to California after tragedy strikes her family. Esperanza faces hard labor, financial challenges (book is set in the Great Depression) and a lack of acceptance from the people around her.
Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin - A book that follows the lives and struggles of six transgender teens facing love, school and other challenges to live their lives.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely - A young black boy is assaulted by a cop while being mistaken as a thief in a corner store. After the incident, his neighborhood is in an uproar and all he wants is for everyone to leave him alone. A young white boy, in contrast, the cousin of the cop from the incident. He doesn't want to upset anyone in his family, but he doesn't think the situation should've gone the way it did.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - David has faced a lot of challenges, his parents think he's gay and so does the school bully but the real truth is that David wants to be a girl. David wants to transition but has to work through the cultural and societal barriers that make it difficult for them to do so.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi - Fabiola Toussaint leaves Haiti with her mother to stay with their family in Detroit only for her mom to get caught by boarder control. Fabiola has to go on alone to live with her cousins, who are smart but falling into various trappings of inner city life. Fabiola relies heavily on her Haitian culture, while also trying to be 'American' for her family and boy she falls for.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes - A young boy is killed by a cop, however his ghost is still hanging around. In his time as a ghost he follows his family, his friends and the daughter of the cop who killed him. Of all the people he follows, she's the only one who can see him, well, her and the other "ghost boys", like Emmett Till. The two kids, with the help of Emmett Till and others try and find middle ground to give closure to everyone involved.
American Panda by Gloria Chao - Mei Lu is a seventeen year old studying at MIT. She faces extreme expectations from her family and from society. Her family is also very secretive and after beginning to speak with her estranged brother after a few years, she learns more than she thought she would about herself and her own family and their secret struggles.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson - Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. The book heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
"Trev" by Jacqueline Woodson – A short story about Trev Louis Johnson, a six-year-old transgender boy. He is biologically female but already Trev knows he is a boy. Trev knows he is "wrong down there" but his father and brother have a great deal of difficulty handling Trev's gender identity.
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele – Author Claude Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald – “I know my own mind.” “I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.” These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon – Parents of children who have Down Syndrome, dwarfism, or autism share intimate stories of the challenges they face.
What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People by Verna A. Myers – This tip book offers innovative and surprising ways for people to keep their personal diversity journey moving and the diversity commitment of their organization.
Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue - If you believe that talking about race is impolite, or that "colorblindness" is the preferred approach, you must read this book. Sue’s thorough and thoughtful book debunks the most pervasive myths using evidence, easy-to-understand examples, and practical tools.
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving - For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan.
It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality by Michelangelo Signorile - In It’s Not Over, pioneering journalist Michelangelo Signorile boldly confronts the challenges that lie ahead for LGBT Americans. Drawing on provocative new research into the psychological roots of prejudice, he shatters myths and ranges through Washington, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and beyond to reveal the truth about the battles to come.
From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schoolsby Jennifer Bryan - Very few PreK-12 teachers are adequately trained to address the gender identity and sexual identity of their students in a developmentally-appropriate and pedagogically-sound manner. Yet responsible adults—parents, educators, pre-service teachers, coaches, religious instructors, camp administrators and school counselors— must help children navigate the inherently diverse, increasingly complex world of gender and sexuality in the twenty-first century. Bryan’s book is a practical, forward thinking resource for anyone involved in educating children and adolescents.
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt – Nutt chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together. It’s the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance, not ostracism and disapproval; of a Republican, Air Force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights; of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its prejudices, a school compelled to rewrite its rules, and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard. Ultimately, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson - Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond - To close the achievement gap, diverse classrooms need a proven framework for optimizing student engagement. Culturally responsive instruction has shown promise, but many teachers have struggled with its implementation. Hammond draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction.
Courageous Conversations About Race by Glenn Singleton – This book explains the need for candid, courageous conversations about race so that educators may understand why achievement inequality persists and learn how they can develop a curriculum that promotes true educational equity and excellence.
Race/Related – NYTimes Newsletter (free subscription via link) – a newsletter exploring race with provocative reporting and discussion.
Black in America – Smithsonian Magazine Special Issue, September 2016
Insight, Diversity Magazine — Exploring Cultures & Lifting Voices, Winter 2018 – published quarterly by a student-led editorial board at Sidwell Friends School with essays, poems, and artwork by students from contributing schools, including The Lab School.
Teaching Tolerance - An organization whose website has many resources, especially for teachers.
A Better Start - A report on why classroom diversity matters in early education.
Microagressions in the Classroom:
American Promise, 2013 documentary by Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson - Filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson follow their son and his best friend through the U.S. educational system. Though both boys start out at the prestigious Dalton School, circumstances later force one into a public high school.
Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, 2003 film by Bennett Singer and Nancy Yates- During his 60-year career as an activist, organizer and "troublemaker," Bayard Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the American civil rights movement. In 1963, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever seen. But his open homosexuality forced him to remain in the background, marking him again and again as a "brother outsider."
The Loving Story, 2011 documentary by Nancy Buirski - In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving are arrested for violating Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws, eventually leading to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on interracial marriage.
Tomgirl: Short Documentary About a Gender Fluid Child - A look at the life of a gender non-conforming 7-year-old named Jake takes into account the role his parents' acceptance plays in his well-being.