During one of the many discussions the Equity and Social Justice Committee (E&SJ) hosted, we returned to the knowledge that children as young as four years old begin to absorb societal messages about race and identity. Very often those messages are negative when it comes to identities which are often marginalized. Those ubiquitous messages become ingrained and reinforced throughout our lifetimes in the form of implicit biases.
Currently children of color, children with disabilities and children who are LGBTQIA identifying, are underrepresented in children’s literature. This leaves them without easy access to positive reflections of themselves in the stories they are exposed to. Their absence renders them invisible, which also says something. This new book project aims to validate their presence in the world by providing positive images for all children that reinforce the idea that our differences are to be valued, reflected, and celebrated.
How does it work?
E&SJ is asking for donations of new books for children ages 0-18 that reflect the ideals above. We collect book donations on an ongoing basis and invite each staff person to select one book a month. We also distribute books to children our Family Team cares for.
To help select books, we have created lists which will allow you to purchase books. We request that you consider purchasing from a BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color), woman or LGBTQIA owned bookseller, or an independent bookseller (we have some suggestions below) that carries a wide selection of these children's books first. This would have the added benefit of supporting our business uplift efforts to support these businesses.
We have also created a wish list on Amazon for folks who would like to easily order pre-selected titles. If you order from Amazon, you may choose to enroll in their free “Amazon Smile” program which donates a portion of anything you order to an organization of your choice.
Please mail books to BHCHP c/o Sonja Spears at 780 Albany Street. Boston, MA 02118
We thank you in advance for your donation!