NPR’s Social Justice Summer Reading List for Kids

(image by Elizabeth Grabber via npr.org)

by Kayla Lattimore via npr.org

Social activist Innosanto Nagara wanted to find a fun book to read to his 2-year-old son that also talked about the importance of social justice. He wasn’t looking for the typical fiction written for children, instead, he was looking for unique narratives — by writers of color and/or authors who can speak about social issues through their own experiences. Nagara couldn’t find any. So he wrote one.

“Parents and teachers are realizing that what students read and learn affects how they see the world.” said Deborah Menkart, Executive Director for Teaching for Change, an organization that puts together social justice reading lists to inspire children throughout the summer. “Give kids credit,” says Stan Yogi, one of the authors on our list. “They have an innate sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Being able to draw on that innate sense of justice through relatable stories is so important.”

Not all parents have the time to do what Innosanto Nagara did. For those who can’t, we’ve compiled a list — with help from Teaching for Change — of books that frame big issues through a lens children can understand.

A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

Every letter is the definition of a different social movement. For F — kids learn about Feminism, when we get to G – kids learn about the meaning of grassroots organizing and why its important. This beautifully illustrated ABC book uses rhyming and alliteration to get your little reader excited about social change. If your child loves this work they may enjoy the author’s new work My Night at the Planetarium, which illustrates the important role the arts play in resistance.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter is a 16-year-old girl who’s navigating the two worlds of her upper-class prep school and the reality of her poverty stricken neighborhood. After she witnesses her friend getting shot and killed in a confrontation with the police, she must deal with the consequences of talking about what she saw. The author unpacks the complexity and weight of standing up for what you believe in at a young age.

One of a Kind, Like Me / Único Como Yo by Laurin Mayeno, Robert Liu-Trujillo and Teresa Mlawer

A heartwarming story of a young boy, Danny, who fights gender stereotypes by dressing up as a princess for the school parade. The author, Laurin Mayeno, was inspired to write this from her own experience with her son Danny. “Sometimes as parents we must unlearn things we learned growing up,” says Mayeno. The book is bilingual, in English and Spanish, and discusses gender expression from a child’s point of view.

To see full list, go to: Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid : NPR Ed : NPR

The Jackie Robinson Foundation Breaks Ground on the Jackie Robinson Museum in NY

(L-R) Hannah Storm, Ayo Robinson, Sonya Pankey, Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Rachel Robinson, Meta Robinson, and Vice-Chair of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Sharon Robinson attend the Jackie Robinson Museum Groundbreaking at the Jackie Robinson Foundation on April 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Jackie Robinson Foundation)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The Jackie Robinson Museum is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for donors on April 27, 2017.  The 18,500-square foot space will honor the late sports legend Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and played an active, pioneering role in the modern civil rights movement.  “Jack lived his life with such great purpose,” said Rachel Robinson, JRF Founder and wife of Jackie Robinson. “I hope that visitors to the Museum will not only learn about his journey and experience his energy, but that they will be inspired to view each day as a chance to make a difference.”

The Jackie Robinson Museum will expand the Foundation’s mission to educate and expose current and future generations of Americans to a man and an era that were pivotal in forming the more inclusive society that we are today. Exciting, interactive exhibitions, educational outreach efforts, and dynamic programing to illuminate the life and character of one of the most storied athletes of all time are all on the Museum’s agenda. “We are proud to realize Rachel Robinson’s dream of establishing a fixed tribute to her husband’s rich legacy,” said Della Britton Baeza, JRF’s President & CEO.  “Jackie Robinson’s contributions to our country propelled us through challenging social times and continue to encourage us to practice empathy and brotherhood toward others. The Jackie Robinson Museum will satisfy sports fans who will learn more about Jackie Robinson’s great accomplishments as an athlete and visitors of all walks of life who want to be inspired by a true humanitarian.”

Located in the heart of downtown Manhattan, just blocks north of the 9/11 Memorial, the Foundation has retained Gensler as Design Architect in collaboration with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Exhibit Designer, to develop the Jackie Robinson Museum.

JRF has secured lead gifts from a diverse group of partners including:  Nike, Inc., Phil Knight, the Yawkey Foundation, the City of New York, New York Mets, Citi, Strada Education Network, Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball, the Tull Family Foundation, New York Yankees, and Stephen Ross. Half way to its $42 million fundraising goal, which is inclusive of a Museum operating endowment, the Foundation plans to open the Museum’s doors in the spring of 2019.   

JRF Welcomes Donations: visit www.jackierobinsonmuseum.org to support the Museum’s fundraising efforts.

About the Jackie Robinson Foundation

Established in 1973 to perpetuate Jackie Robinson’s memory, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a national, public, non-profit organization, administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college students. In addition to generous financial assistance, JRF offers a comprehensive set of support services that includes mentoring, job placement, career guidance, leadership training and practical life skills. JRF’s celebrated four-year program yields a consistent, 98% college graduation rate. JRF has provided over $70 million in grants and direct program support to 1,500 students who have attended over 225 colleges and universities.

Colin Kaepernick Pledges $1 Million Donation to Social and Racial Justice Charities

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

article by Natasha Alford via thegrio.com

In the midst of controversy over his protest of the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick is using the spotlight to address the issues he says inspired his stance.

At Thursday night’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, Kaepernick pledged a $1 million dollar donation to groups which address issues of racial and social inequality.

He didn’t offer specific details about which groups would receive donations but explained his intentions.–Veterans show support for football star with #VeteransForKaepernick tweets “I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money that I do and I have to help these people,’’ said Kaepernick. “I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to success.’’

Kaepernick also recently joined forces with his girlfriend, Hot 97 radio personality Nessa Diab, to donate $60,000 worth of backpacks to students in Harlem and the South Bronx. As part of his six-year, $114,000,000 deal with the 49ers, Kaepernick’s base salary this year is $11.9 million dollars.

To read full article, go to: Colin Kaepernick pledges $1 million donation to charity for needy communities | theGrio

‘I’m Not A Token Or A Mammy’ Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Away From Her MSNBC Show After Pre-Emptions

Melissa Harris-Perry said she had received no word about whether her MSNBC show had been canceled. (Credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

article by John Koblin via nytimes.com

In an unusually public flare-up, one of MSNBC’s television personalities clashed with the network on Friday in a dispute about airtime and editorial freedom and said she was refusing to host the show that bears her name this weekend.

The host, Melissa Harris-Perry, wrote in an email to co-workers this week that her show had effectively been taken away from her and that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives, who are restructuring MSNBC.

“Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she wrote in the email, which became public on Friday. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”

In a phone interview, Ms. Harris-Perry confirmed she would not appear on the show this weekend. She said she had received no word about whether her show, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays, had been canceled, but said she was frustrated that her time slot had faced pre-emptions for coverage of the presidential election. She said she had not appeared on the network at all “for weeks” and that she was mostly sidelined during recent election coverage in South Carolina and New Hampshire. (She was asked to return this weekend.)

In her email, Ms. Harris-Perry wrote that she was not sure if the NBC News chairman, Andrew Lack, or Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president, were involved in the way her show was handled recently, but she directed blame toward both.

“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote. “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

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EBONY Unveils Powerful December Cover With Harry Belafonte, Jesse Williams, and Zendaya

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Fresh off its provocative, internet breaking Cosby Show cover, the folks over at EBONY are at it again.

Celebrating the magazine’s 70th anniversary, editor-in-chief Kierna Mayo and company just unveiled the cover for the December issue, which asks readers to #StandForSomething.

The image features actor and civil rights legend Harry Belafonte flanked by the next generation of socially conscious celebs, Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams and Disney’s Zendaya Coleman.

So far, people are loving the look of latest issue. Ava DuVernay called it “epic” and Michaela Angela David said it helps understand the heritage of the social justice movement.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Jackie Robinson to be Honored Saturday by Exhibition of Rare Sports Memorabilia in Los Angeles

Jackie Robinson Triple Play Day

This Saturday, April 13th, the Zimmer Museum Honors Jackie Robinson with Family Friendly Events & Activities in conjunction with the Sports Museum of LA.

Sixty-six years ago on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base, making him the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. This weekend, in addition to the national release of the Warner Bros. “42,” a feature film about his life,  Robinson will be honored by a rare display of his, as well as Negro League memorabilia, at the Sports Museum of Los Angeles.  This exhibit, hosted by the Zimmer Children’s Museum, coincides with Jackie Robinson Triple Play Day, which also includes family-friendly events, food, prizes and a historical scavenger hunt for kids.

Proceeds from Triple Play Day go to support the Zimmer Children’s Museum’s youth services program, youTHink, which empowers youth to find their voice around social issues that matter to them and make a difference in their communities. 

For more information on this special event or to purchase tickets, go to: http://sports.zimmermuseum.org

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

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Civil Rights Lawyer Michelle Alexander Speaks Against Mass Incarceration: the “New Jim Crow”

At a Monday talk, civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander condemned mass incarceration of African-Americans as a form of legalized discrimination.

Monday at Yale University, civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander condemned mass incarceration of African-Americans as a form of legalized discrimination. (Photo/Maria Zepeda)

Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer who gained national renown after publishing the book “The New Jim Crow,” spoke to students and faculty at the Yale Divinity School Monday afternoon about the phenomenon of mass incarceration in the United States, which she described as a legalized form of racial discrimination. Because African-Americans make up a large percentage of America’s prison population, Alexander said millions of African-Americans nationwide are deprived of basic human rights to housing and employment, adding that the prisoners have fallen victim to the kind of racial discrimination that existed at the time of Jim Crow.

“We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it,” she said. “This is a system that has literally turned back the clock on racial progress in the U.S.”

Alexander said a series of American government campaigns to curb the illegal drug trade, commonly referred to as the war on drugs, is causing an unprecedented number of incarcerations, especially of people of color. More than 45 million people have been “swept into the system” for drug offenses, Alexander said, adding that the number of people currently incarcerated for drug offenses surpasses the number of people incarcerated for any one reason in 1980.

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