At its core, Westminster is a learning community. We are committed to creating spaces in which our faculty, staff, students, and alumni can share knowledge and resources and learn from one another. The following resources have been curated by Westminster's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team in hopes that they will help our community's ongoing discussions about racial inequity and the development of one's personal race identity.
- Talking with White Children About George Floyd by Ali Michael
- Teaching Tolerance Resources from Southern Poverty Law Center
- Educator Resources from Facing History and Ourselves
- New York Times Resources For Talking To Kids About Racism
- "What White Children Need To Know About Race" by Dr. Ali Michael, Independent School Magazine
- "What Can White People Do" by Dr. Ali Michael
- "Becoming An Anti-Racist White Ally: How a White Affinity Group Can Help" by Dr. Ali Michael, Penn Graduate School of Education Perspectives on Urban Education (journal)
- White Students And Talking About Race
- Consultant Eddie Moore's Resource Page
- Why All Parents Should Talk With Their Kids About Social Identity
- Dr. Clint Smith's Justice In America Podcast
- Episode One of the Code Switch Podcast: "Can We Talk About Whiteness?" (with Gene Demby and Shareen Marisol Meraji)
- "What's The Relationship Between Music and Activism?" Analysis and Music Collection from NPR
- Teaching While White Podcast
Press Play is a personal development resource intended to help explore identity themes and issues including race, religion, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity/expression through art, music, film, articles, and literature. It is also a tool that can be used to engage students in the classroom or as conversation starters at home.
Press Play was created in the summer of 2019 by Westminster faculty members Judy Osborne (Equity & Inclusion Programs Coordinator, Upper School), Kay Solomon (Upper School Bible Department Chair), Kate Morgens (Performing Arts Department Chair), and Mark Labouchere (Upper School Economics Teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist) as part of a cohort project through The Center for Teaching.
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Juneteenth: A Day of Reflection and Celebration
Juneteenth marks the official end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, and announced to enslaved men, women, and children that the Civil War had ended and they were free—more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The following resources provide information on the history of this important holiday and how it is celebrated and commemorated throughout the United States.
- Teaching Juneteenth (Tolerance.org)
- The History of Juneteenth (Roland Wiley)
- Celebrating Juneteenth (National Museum of African American History and Culture)
- What is Juneteenth? (KHOU-11)
- Juneteenth: A Day to Reflect on the History of Slavery in the United States (VOA News)
- Metro Atlanta Juneteenth Celebrations
Pre-First to Third Grade
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it's beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her -- and her hair -- happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair -- and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. A perfect gift for special occasions including Father’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more!
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Lillian’s Right to Vote, A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.
She Persisted: 13 American Women who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.
As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel. Their names stand for the quest for justice and equality. Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause. Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.
Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee
When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. “Come with me,” he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do—her mama says, “Come with me,” and together they set out for the grocery, because one person doesn’t represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own—walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. “Come with me,” the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world.
A Kids’ Book about Racism by Jelani Memory
A clear explanation of what racism is and how to know when you see it. Yes, this really is a kids book about racism. Inside, you’ll find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens. This is one conversation that’s never too early to start, and this book was written to be an introduction for kids on the topic.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levi and Elizabeth Baddeley
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.
Fourth and Fifth Grade
Becoming Kareem by Kareem Abdul-Jabar
At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball, and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with ""coaches"" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiring journey.
Blended by Sharon M. Draper
Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.
Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they’re always about HER. Isabella feels completely stuck in the middle, split and divided between them more than ever. And she is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad involves more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. Her dad is black, her mom is white, and strangers are always commenting: “You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?” She knows what they’re really saying: “You don’t look like your parents.” “You’re different.” “What race are you really?” And when her parents, who both get engaged at the same time, get in their biggest fight ever, Isabella doesn’t just feel divided, she feels ripped in two. What does it mean to be half white or half black? To belong to half mom and half dad? And if you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?
New Kid by Jerry Craft
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.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?