Cultural Awareness & Diversity

This is a resource list for families who want to engage in discussions about cultural awareness and diversity. It includes background reading for grown-ups as well as books and online resources to share with kids.

Online resources:

Teaching Young Children About Race - Teaching for Change
Guide for parents and teachers.

Explaining the News to Our Kids - Common Sense Media
Tips by age on how to talk to kids about the news.

Talking to Kids About Race  - National Geographic
Suggestions on how to raise an anti-racist child.

How to Teach Children About Cultural Awareness and Diversity - PBS Kids for Parents
Helps parents teach children to understand and respect similarities and differences.

Children’s books can be a great tool to learn about historical racism as well as a starting point for discussions about cultural awareness, diversity, race and racism today. Here are some recommendations to support conversations around these issues. For a more complete list, please click for the printable or online lists.

Cultural Awareness & Diversity Books 2

Heart and Soul : The Story of America and African Americans by Nelson, Kadir

A simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.

The Undefeated by Alexander, Kwame

An inspiring look at African Americans whose triumphs have been hard-won against great odds.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices by Hudson, Wade, editor

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

Hands Up! by McDaniel, Breanna J.

A young girl lifts her hands up in a series of everyday moments before finally raising her hands in resistance at a protest march.

All Are Welcome by Penfold, Alexandra

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.

Happy in Our Skin by Manushkin, Fran

All children can see themselves, and open their eyes to the world around them, in this sweet, scrumptious celebration of skin in all its many, many, wonderful forms.

I Am Enough by Byers, Grace

Shares a story of loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to one another.

One Crazy Summer by Williams-Garcia, Rita.

In the summer of 1968, three sisters travel to Oakland to meet the mother who abandoned them and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Cultural Awareness & Diversity Books 1

Stella by Starlight by Draper, Sharon M.

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

New Kid by Craft, Jerry

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

Blended by Draper, Sharon M.

Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.

March: Book One by Lewis, John

The first in a graphic novel trilogy, March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Segal, Gilly; Jones, Kimberly

Follows two teen girls―one black, one white―who have to confront their own assumptions about racial inequality as they rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has set their city on fire with civil unrest.

The Hate U Give by Thomas, Angie

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends.

This Book is Anti-Racist by Jewell, Tiffany 

Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.

Stamped : Racism, Antiracism, and You by Reynolds, Jason, author.

Young adult version of: Stamped from the Beginning : The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. This book shines a light on the many forms of racist ideas and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.