Posted 20 hours ago

Let's Talk About Race

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Lester's poignant picture book helps children learn, grow, discuss, and begin to create a future that resolves differences.

They already know that popular storytimes can be an effective way to increase community representation and belonging at the library.In this acclaimed book, the author of the Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. It sounds like a grandpa sitting next to you and talking, just talking -- telling you his wisdom, but never making you feel bad for not already knowing. Let’s Talk About Race in the Workplace’ is up to date and uncompromising in setting out the facts and thinking around systemic racism in organisations. Julius Lester does a great job presenting the idea of race and how sometimes people form opinions about others before getting to know them.

And although race may be not always easy for educators to talk about, this book helps bridge that gap. I highly encourage anyone who leads storytimes at their library to consider adding this (quick) read to their upcoming professional development plans. In his brief picture book, Lester speaks directly to the child reader, encouraging him or her to tell his or her story, defining all of the attributes of him or herself (like favorite food, religion, heritage, etc.This is not a day to take notes and wait for answers, but rather to use our own lived experience to create ways for positive therapeutic change. We will be populating this space with many more resources and campaign materials as the campaign progresses. As Julius Lester points out, it is only when we allow ourselves to delve deeper into each other's character, asking questions about mutual likes and dislikes, about where we were born and the pictures formed by our own personal histories, that we can begin to truly know each other and bridge the illusory gaps that seem to separate us. We also recognise the legacies of colonialism that have created the interpersonal and structural racism that continues to exist throughout academia and society at large.

Shajeda shares her lived experience of racism, how this has shaped who she is today, and she talks about how we can create an anti-racist and inclusive working environment.Learning to put in the effort to intentionally learn about and consider the lived experiences of those who are different to you, is the first step towards avoiding unintentional harm and will help you on your anti-racism journey. As the trial of Derek Chauvin unfolds and news reports the death of yet another unarmed Black man shot and killed by police near Minneapolis, there has never been a more urgent need for honest dialogue around race in America. Racism, racial injustice and racial inequalities exist in our everyday lives and in wider society; they also exist within higher education and within our University.

Having a proactive, open discussion about racism demonstrates a commitment to tackling racism when it occurs and preventing it in the future. This stunning picture book introduces race as just one of many chapters in a person's story" (School Library Journal). This text can build knowledge on diversity because it explains that at lot of people judge others based on their race and skin color and this book lets children know that you shouldn't judge someone based on their race and skin color.The authors urge readers to take the conversation seriously, to educate themselves about Black history and its impact on Black lives today, and to challenge non-Blacks to own their responsibility in dismantling the systemic force of racism in America. These toolkits offer know-how such as context, definitions, and issues at play, practical measures and tactics at hand that will help to develop a much needed anti-racist culture at UCL. To celebrate International Women's Day (8 March), Candice Brathwaite, influencer and founder of 'Make Motherhood Diverse', took part in a panel discussion held at the University.

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