The year back to school for some educators has meant fear: fear for the health of themselves and their family, fear of teaching with an anti-racist, anti-bias lens, fear of using books that represent all young people, fear of loss of income.
For some, this fear may coexist with the stress of too many students, not enough students, too much heat, not enough space, too much work, and not enough sleep.
For some, fall has meant reuniting with colleagues and students in person after over a year’s time online.
This fall many are back at school and yet it’s not familiar; nor do we desire for it to be familiar. What will each of us do to support systemic change in education? From the removal of books in classrooms and school libraries, the removal of teachers who hang flags and posters for Black Lives Matter and Pride, to attacks on critical race theory, schools are an integral part of systemic racism and thus are critical institutions in which to work for justice,
Jane Addams Peace Association is committed to exploring how white supremacy culture pervades our lives and our schools and the work we need to do to invite and support deep dialogue and questioning that leads to fundamental change.
Here’s a small selection of Jane Addams Award titles we’ve highlighted in the last year, put together in a new collection to remind ourselves and young people that change is possible. These books invite deep thinking about a myriad of ways to change unjust systems, laws and actions. We share these books and resources to invite ourselves and our young people to be kind to ourselves and to others and to both rest and work together justice.
This diverse selection of books invites young people and all people to imagine the joyful and just education of our dreams, the right to education, and to explore the means of change, and to take action to bring more freedom and equity into our educational systems.
We wish you a fall full of reflection, action, self care and of course time and a comfortable space to read many good books!
Change the narrative!
Whose voices are heard? Who is seen?
Whose stories and contributions are we listening to and learning from?
Celebrating & honoring the contributions of the Latinx community this month and every month.
Mexican Independence Day isn’t the only great time to read about what happened after the Mexican Revolution that took place 100 years later. Whose history is learned all year long?
Many of the themes present in both time periods are still relevant now: racism, indigenous rights, wealth inequality, workers’ rights & immigration rights.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan invites deep dialogue to address problems and oppression caused by prejudice, war, violence, social injustice, racism, classism & all hierarchies of power and opportunity.
Visibility. Who is visible in mainstream society?
“Every single person that is missing deserves the same attention and care given to their case. Her life matters just as much as the next. Bring them home. All of them.” Thank you to Soni López-Chávez for this quote and impactful artwork.
Read more of Traci Sorell’s words in “The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth” edited by Wade Hudson Jr. & Cheryl Willis Hudson.
Find all these books and more on our website.
Jane Addams Children’s Award books exemplify literary, visual and aesthetic excellence and invite dialogue, passionate response, purposeful reflection and deep questioning related to social justice themes.
A focus on Latinx suffragettes relates especially to the following Jane Addams criteria:
OPPRESSION/ISMS: How can people work together to address problems and oppression caused by prejudice, war, violence, social injustice, racism, sexism, heteronormativity, ageism, classism, ableism and all hierarchies of power and opportunity?
POWER & EQUALITY FOR WOMEN: How can people work for power and equality for women throughout the world
Young people can read about Jovita Idár, Latina suffragettes and a diverse, historically accurate group of women in “Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote” (pages 72-79) by Veronica Chambers and the Staff of the New York Times, Artwork of Jovita Idár by Shyama Golden
Reflect: think about big ideas to understand as they read or as the book is read to them…
What is suffrage?
Who has it?
How is it used?
What connections have there been and are there now between race and suffrage?
What barriers to suffrage have there been and are there now?
Whose suffrage stories are heard?
Students can analyze character development and character changes comparing and contrasting different people to more deeply understand their motives.
Students can make connections with current world events.
Engage in deep dialogue, talking, writing, and/or creating artwork about
What they thought about suffrage before reading.
What they learned about Latinx suffragettes and how their thinking changed.
What surprised them? What connections did they make and what did they wonder more about?
Expand their thinking and engage in social action investigating different standpoints as they begin to develop tools to respond to injustice.
Young people can research:
What texts, podcasts, and videos they can find about:
Jovita Idar (pen name Astrea)
Adelina Otero-Warren and
How many books are found in the class or school library featuring Latinas?
Tally the biographies. What was noticed? What questions were there?
After tallying, a plan can be made to increase biographies of people from underrepresented groups.
For further thinking:
Young people can reflect, talk and write about:
Difficulties that arose during the tally.
Who is Latinx? Who is Hispanic? What’s the difference? How do different people identify themselves?
Find the NapMinistry on Instagram. Check out their blog. Support their work on patron.
Don’t worry if you missed it! You didn’t! It’s all recorded and available on the EdCollabGathering website.
Be inspired, find many ways to use Jane Addams Peace books, and more!
Listen to this episode of Codeswitch: “The Folk Devil Made Me Do It” where they take a look at “what moral panics can teach us about the critical race theory freakout.” Subscribe to their podcast for “fearless conversations about race that hosted by journalists of color tackling the subject of race with empathy and humor.
Save the date! October 14, 2021– George Floyd’s birthday— will be marked by Black Lives Matter at School’s national day to Teach Truth about structural racism. Learn more here!
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Social justice literature and illustration fosters empathy & respect and invites change-making!
Help put these Jane Addams Peace Books into the hands of more children, especially those in communities that have historically been marginalized and experienced oppression. Your gift will support this effort!
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