Diversity Gap in Children’s Literature


MONTH // September 2018
TOPIC // Diversity Gap in Children’s Books
RESOURCE // The Apartheid of Children’s Literature by Christopher Myers, The Diversity Gap in Children’s Book Publishing by the Open Book, Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books by Walter Dean Myers 
DISCUSSION LEADER // Tyler, Operations Manager

Led by our Operations Manager, Tyler, we discussed the lack of diversity in children’s books. We considered how we can use our roles as educators, booksellers, publishers, event hosts, advocates, and members of the Chicago literary community to expose students to literature that is both a mirror to their experience and a map to possible destinations.

  • REFLECTION //
    • What were some of the most meaningful children’s or YA books for you growing up?
    • Was there a story or character that you wished you saw in books growing up, but didnt?
  • NEW LEARNING/DISCUSSION // 
    • What are your reactions to the op-ed and report? Did any of the findings surprise you?
    • Why do you think the number of diverse books published have increased over the past few years but the number of books written by authors of color has not increased?
    • What resources can we use to learn more? (We Need Diverse Books, etc.)
  • TRANSFER/APPLY OUR WORK 
    • 826CHI as an organization is at the intersection of many groups that have the ability to make positive changes in this area. Consider our roles as educators, booksellers, publishers, event hosts, librarians, advocates, and members of the Chicago literary community:
      • What are the implications for our staff, our learning, our space and our students going forward?
      • How does the lack of diversity in children’s literature affect our student authors?
      • How can we expose students to literature that are both mirrors to their experience and maps that show possible destinations?
      • Are there changes that we can make in programs, our physical space, or beyond to address this issue? How does this fit in with our strategic priorities for this year?
  • DEBRIEF/FINAL THOUGHTS // 
    • What are the implications for our staff, our learning, our space and our students going forward?

 

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