The Inclusion School Resource Center
This is a space to learn, share, and connect with tools and content to help you discuss diversity and inclusion with children.
- The ABCs of Affirming Black Children by Ernest Crim III – Within the pages of The ABCs of Affirming Black Children, readers will get 26 artists, activists, scientists, and speakers who dared to be great in the face of injustice and adversity to correct the image our children have of themselves. These affirmations and historical facts will build a foundation of confidence and vision that will prepare them for the greatness they are destined to achieve.
- AutPlay Therapy Handbook: Integrative Family Play Therapy with Neurodivergent Children by Robert Jason Grant – The AutPlay Therapy Handbook provides a thorough explanation and understanding of AutPlay Therapy (an integrative family play therapy framework) and details how to effectively implement AutPlay Therapy for addressing the mental health needs of autistic and neurodivergent children and their families.
- Ana, The Teacher and the Writer – Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, and an award-winning Brazilian children’s author also published in the Foreign Language educational market. Her picture books include BELLA’S RECIPE FOR DISASTER/SUCCESS and IF YOUR BABYSITTER IS A BRUJA/CUANDO TU NIÑERA ES UNA BRUJA, ABUELA’S SUPER CAPA/ LA SUPER CAPA DE ABUELA, ROOM IN MAMI’S CORAZÓN and more. Besides writing, Ana loves to read, teach, and play with her Cuban-Brazilian-American grandchildren.
- The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld – A moving and universal picture book about empathy and kindness, sure to soothe heartaches big and small—now a New York Times bestseller and a perfect gift for any special occasion
- Bellen’s More Than Peach Project – More than Peach was born in spring 2019 out of the pressing need to grow access, representation, and perspectives. Whose idea was this and how did the crayons get their names? Meet bright-light Bellen Woodard, Mensan, ballet dancer, professional model, and now 11 year old kid!
- Growing up Black in White by Kevin D. Hofmann – Growing Up Black in White by Kevin D. Hofmann is a moving and sometimes humorous look into the life of one man with a fascinating past. Born into the racially-charged Detroit of 1967 to a white mother and a black father, the author was placed into foster care and then adopted by a white minister and his wife, the parents of three biological children. Hofmann’s memoir reveals the racial tensions, the difficulties of feeling neither black nor white, his family’s loving support, and his struggles to define and embrace his own identity as he grew to be a man. This is a story of hope and promise, and how we are able to define ourselves not through the racism and judgments of a challenging society, but through our own sense of self-respect and personal identity.
- Waking Up White by Debbie 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. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.
- Write On Girl!: A Fun Guided Journal for Preteen Girls by Jillian D Bradfield – Hey gorgeous girls! This book is just for you.Use this book to write your goals, dreams and hearts desires. If you don’t know where to begin, every week I give you topics to jump start and get your creative juices flowing. May you find joy and inspiration every week!
- I Promise by LeBron James – NBA champion and superstar LeBron James pens a slam-dunk picture book inspired by his foundation’s I PROMISE program that motivates children everywhere to always #StriveForGreatness. Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close. I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.
- My Mom Has Two Jobs by Michelle Travis – Finally, a children’s picture book that pays homage to working moms everywhere! My Mom Has Two Jobs celebrates the work that women do both inside and outside of the home.
- My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith – A book to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.
- Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman – In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and most importantly, in themselves.
- Guji-Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen – Guji Guji is just your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill duck…um, crocodile…um, duck… In this engaging story about identity, loyalty and what it really means to be a family, Guji, Guji makes some pretty big decisions about who he is, what he is, and what it all means, anyway.
- The Adventures of Bug and Boo-Under the Sea by Denay Hooks – Bug has a rare disease and uses a wheelchair, but when she and her brother are on these adventures, she is able to do things her body doesn’t typically allow. They swim with colorful fish, find an old pirate ship, and still manage to make it home by dinner.
- A Zebra Named Zion by Ben Smith – A simple story designed to provoke discussion about mental health in primary school aged children.
- Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor – US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have.
- When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb – This book will help kids think about disability, kindness and how to behave when they meet someone who is different from them
- Journey To Appleville by Veronica Appleton – What can six kids from a local neighborhood do when they have a goal in mind? Embark on a quest to Appleville, of course! Join Kenan, Tu-Tu, Pedro, Liu-Liu, Lizzy, and Cassie as they overcome their fears with the help of the Appleville Fairy.
- The Cycle of a Dream: A Kid’s Introduction to Structural Racism in America by Kimberly Narain – “Each page walks you through the history of social injustice, inequalities and racism in America. However, this book also shares a very positive message that can become a conversation piece with family, friends or in the classroom.”
- Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love – A glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy floored with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.
- Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz by Warren Binford – The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States
- Born Ready – THE TRUE STORY OF A BOY NAMED PENELOPE By JODIE PATTERSON – Jodie Patterson, activist and Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, shares her transgender son’s experience in this important picture book about identity and acceptance.
- Milo Imagines the World By MATT DE LA PEÑA – Milo and his teen sister, who are both Black, take a long subway ride together. Big sister is glued to her cell phone and bespectacled Milo draws the lives he imagines for other passengers on the train.
- Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter By Veronica Chambers – a broad and powerful exploration of the history of Black Lives Matter told through photographs, quotes, and informative text.
- We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell – Twelve Native American kids present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each with a powerful refrain: We are still here!
- Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho – A young Taiwanese girl notices that her eyes look different from her friends’. This book is a dazzling, lyrical ode to loving oneself.
- Rescue & Jessica by Jessica Kensky – A young woman who has lost her leg finds a helpful companion in Rescue, her new service dog, in this story based on the author’s experience after losing both legs due to injuries received in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
- Henry the Boy by Molly Felder – No matter how different we feel, we are all more similar than we at first appear. This is not a story about a heron or a robot or a chicken but an ordinary boy with daily struggles, triumphs, and an extraordinary imagination.
- When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed – A graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee.
- All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel – Experience the true story of lifelong activist Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins and her participation in the Capitol Crawl in this inspiring autobiographical picture book.
- Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham – a picture book about racism and racial justice, inviting white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it’s real, and cultivate justice.
- Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs – A timely book about how it feels to be teased and taunted, and how each of us is sweet and lovely and delicious on the inside, no matter how we look.
- My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera – After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson – a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you…
- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh – Seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, the Mendez family fought to end segregation in California schools. Discover their incredible story in this picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh.
- Skin Again by Bell Hooks – a new way to talk about race and identity that will appeal to parents of the youngest readers. The skin I’m in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story. If you want to know who I am, you have got to come inside and open your heart way wide.
- As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds – a book that explores multigenerational ideas about family love and bravery in the story of two brothers, their blind grandfather, and a dangerous rite of passage.
ADDITIONAL BOOK RESOURCES:
- Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books
- Women’s History Month: A Book Every Day
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem – In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology. The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. Menakem argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn’t just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.
- Big Books for Little Hearts – A resource list of children’s books for every day of your life by Adina Oberman
- Dr Seuss’ The Sneetches Cartoon
- Embrace Race Book Lists for Racism Conversations
- Stacey Bauer, author with numerous children’s books focused on kindness
- Black Joy Booklist for Children and Young Adults
- We Are Kid Lit Collective
- Social Justice Books – A teaching for Change project
- The Brown Bookshelf – designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers.
- Little Feminist Site – books that proudly and prominently feature under-represented identities in children’s literature. They love stories about characters living at the intersection of identities too!
- Youtube Readalongs by Various Authors
- We Need Diverse Books – Imagine a World in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book
- Demystifying Diversity Podcast Resource List – Another excellent resource list
- Vivian Kirkfield’s Parent, Caregiver, and Educator – Diversity & Inclusion book resource list
- Scholastic Shop – Diversity Titles
ORGANIZATIONS & OTHER RESOURCES
Cooperative Children’s Book Centre – The CCBC is a unique and vital gathering place for books, ideas, and expertise in the field of children’s and young adult literature.
Learning For Justice – seeks to uphold the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center: to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people.
Play-Spark – Neurodiversity Resources & Educational Handouts
Eyes on the Prize documentary – tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.
National At Home Dad Network – To empower fathers and champion a culture that recognizes them as capable and competent parents.
Women’s Right to Vote – Puzzle for Children
How to Talk to Your Child About Shocking Events – Indigrow Article
No Barriers Youth – Imagine a world where barriers don’t stand in the way of what’s possible
3 Things We Can Learn From Our kids About Diversity and Inclusion – Cary Magazine Article
Diversity: Beyond the Checkbox Podcast – Podcast by The Diversity Movement that provides an excellent lens on DEI for parents.
10 Great Animated Movies And TV Shows Centered on Black Characters, While We Wait For Soul – Article by JERRICA TISDALE on Cinema Blend that provides a great resource list
Lauren Simone Publishing (LSP) House – a platform for authors and artists to share their talent and diversity
Xenolearn – A virtual learning hub for diversity, equity and inclusion
A Mighty Girl – The world’s largest collection of books, toys, and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls
Keepsake Tales – Helping children see themselves reflected in the stories they read.
Black Parents Explain How to Deal with the Police – a powerful, insightful video
PFLAG – organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people who are LGBTQ+
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum – An excellent resource for parents
How to Teach Your Children About Racism: A Letter From A Black Mother to White Parents by Uchenna L Umeh
Upbringing.co – an inclusive community of humans who contribute their beliefs, experiences and struggles for our common growth and connection.
Ditto Kids Magazine – An Anti-racism Magazine for Kids
Linda Sue Park TEDx Talk – Can A Children’s Book Change the World?
Hand in Hand Parenting – Hand in Hand Parenting helps parents when parenting gets hard. The Hand in Hand parenting approach builds resilient families and supportive communities of parents and professionals.
The Diversity Movement – Excellent DEI resource for parents and businesses
The Zinn Education Project – introduces students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding history
GLSEN – organization working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to prompt LGBT cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools
The Hidden Curriculum – an essay by Naomi Raquel Enright, a writer, educator and equity practitioner
Student Leadership Capacity Building Survey – A free tool designed to help students better understand their student leadership experiences in school.
Panorama Education – Actionable data and insight – Bring together social-emotional learning, multi-tiered system of supports, response to intervention, school climate, and student voice—all in one platform.
The Barbie Dream Gap Project – “Research shows that starting at age 5, many girls develop self-limiting beliefs and begin to think they’re not as smart and capable as boys. This is called the Dream Gap, and to help close it, Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project in 2018. This ongoing global initiative gives girls the resources and support they need to continue believing in themselves.”
Deb Dagit – Diversity & Disability Expert
Christopher MacLellan – Caregiving Tools
Robbie Samuels – Relationship Expert
Amy Waninger – Diversity Speaker
Southlake Podcast – Hosted by NBC News, “Southlake” tells the story of how this idyllic city, and its local school board election, became the poster child for a new political strategy with national repercussions.
Backwards Planning Template – Template by Lindsay Beth Lyons to get started with justice-centered curriculum design
Lindsay Beth Lyons’ racial and gender justice and student leadership – To help teachers design engaging project-based curricula, foster student voice in schools, and work for gender and racial justice.
Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University – “The science of early childhood is a source of new ideas that could be used to develop more effective policies & services focused on the early years of life.” Check out this site for excellent resources and activities.
The Psychology of Emotional and Cognitive Empathy – Study from Lesley University
THE ACES QUIZ – The Adverse Childhood Experiences, or “ACEs,” quiz asks a series of 10 questions (see below) about common traumatic experiences that occur in early life. Since higher numbers of ACEs often correlate to challenges later in life, including higher risk of certain health problems, the quiz is intended as an indicator of how likely a person might be to face these challenges.
Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters – Video from the Committee for Children
University of Michigan Inclusive Teaching – An excellent resource for group and classroom activities providing innovative teaching methods and tools that foster success for students through inclusive teaching practices.
What School Could Be – a community-powered platform offering educators excellent professional development.
The Honeycomb Project – The Honeycomb Project engages, mobilizes, and inspires whole families to build strong and connected communities through service. Live programs take place in Chicago, but the Honeycomb project also has a virtual volunteer program designed to uplift and mobilize kids during these uncertain times.
Moms Against Racism – a member based non-profit organization that is operated throughout the USA. Their mission is to unify parenting skills while teaching anti-racism by doing the work, starting at home.
Seeds of Caring – Engages children ages 2-12—our future leaders—through a variety of service, social action, and community-building experiences. From racism to homelessness, they don’t shy away from the tough stuff. Instilling kindness and empathy from the earliest age, Seeds of Caring helps kids see and understand the needs in their community, then develop the social-emotional skills and confidence to make a difference. Partnering with over 40 non-profit organizations in the Central Ohio area, they connect caring children and families with service and community-building opportunities focused on: Homelessness & Hunger, Systemic Racism, Stigmas Surrounding Developmental Disabilities and LGBTQ+, Senior Isolation & Loneliness, and Environmental Care
Rise Up, Sing Out – Animated, music-based shorts from Disney provide an inspiring and empowering message about race, culture and community, celebrate differences, and provide a framework for conversation.
Smithsonian Article – How a Psychologist’s Work on Race Identity Helped Overturn School Segregation in 1950s America
Mr. Ernest Crim III – Ernest Crim III is a Black History Application Specialist who uses Black History to empower and educate families and train educators on how to best reach their students in a culturally compliant manner. Mr. Crim, a south side of Chicago native, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumnus, is a former high school educator of 12 years, who now teaches Black History to the world through social media with a reach of nearly 500,000. Additionally, he is the CEO of Crim’s Cultural Consulting LLC, an international speaker, an author of two bestsellers and a passionate progressive education activist, who has been featured on PBS, CBS, NBC & Newsweek amongst various other outlets. To Ernest, his purpose is to creatively strategize how we can use our glorious past to create a better future, entrenched in equitable practices.