12 Children’s Picture Books About Families With Gay Parents

by Marsha Rakestraw In November 2017 California announced that it is adopting “LGBT-inclusive” history textbooks for grades K-8. It is the first state in the US to do so. Some schools may try to ban or discourage talk about homosexuality or about families with gay parents, but the fact is that there are a growing…

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Human Rights Graduate Program Institute for Humane Education

8 Resources for Teaching About Unconscious Bias

by Marsha Rakestraw We all have biases. We’ve heard many times that those biases are an evolutionary adaptation that helped us survive, but even after these thousands of years, we haven’t yet learned to recognize and overcome many of our unconscious (and conscious) biases related to race, gender, disability, age, geography, and even species. Research…

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#FridayFeature: 3 Videos About Intersectionality

by Marsha Rakestraw Less than two months ago, Justine Damond was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer for an unknown reason. Her story has repeatedly made international headlines. Many people are now familiar with her name and her tragic story. Justine was a white woman. Many people also recognize these names: Eric Garner….

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Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression. On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people…

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Resources for Teaching About Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

by Marsha Rakestraw (Almost) every being on Earth shares a common need for clean air, water, and shelter. But we don’t share equitable access. For example: More than half of people who live close to hazardous waste are people of color. Black children are twice as likely to suffer from lead poisoning than are white…

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eco-friendly

21 Children’s Picture Books for Exploring Eco-Friendly Actions

by Marsha Rakestraw Earth Day may be every day, but our relationship to the natural world often gets a little extra attention in April. Children are hungry to connect with their world and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Check out these 21 children’s books that help inspire a desire to…

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Resources for #WeNeedDiverseBooks

by Marsha Rakestraw When I was a child, I read a lot of books. A lot. And other than the occasional title, like The Snowy Day, the people in all those books looked like me. White. Able-bodied. Heterosexual. Despite our growing population of children of color in the US — who now outnumber white students…

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11 Children’s Books About Nonviolent Protest and Resistance

by Marsha Rakestraw Protests and nonviolent resistance are an integral part of human culture. On any given day, there are protests happening around the world. Protests have helped bring about civil and workers’ rights, environmental protection measures, and better treatment of nonhuman animals. And with so many protests in the news (and in the streets…

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Ending the Violence With Meaningful Solutions

I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the capacity and the will to prevent such violence from continuing…

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anti-bias teacher resources

Tips for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Stories are a powerful tool. They teach us about the world and ourselves; they influence our values; and they help shape our worldview. With children’s books, we’re usually looking for a good story to share with our children. Less often are we paying much attention to the kinds of messages those stories…

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