Sharing My Growing Anti-Bias Resource List

Anti-bias Resources Graphic

My family, friends, and I have had, and continue to have, valuable and important conversations around race, equity and justice, belonging, disability, identity, privilege, and accountability. And I’ve been blessed to have access to conversations and resources shared by friends, family, community, and national organizations to help me as I grow my understanding and anti-bias education on a number of topics. With family and friends directly affected, it is very important to me to listen, speak up, stand up, and take action to bring about true change and justice, but this work and taking action for change should be important to everyone. I’m certainly not a subject matter expert in any of these areas and this list also isn’t meant to be exhaustive (because there are a ton of amazing resources out there). Rather, I see this as a place to collect some of the resources I have been personally sharing with my own family, friends, and community in one place. Since I am not an expert, I want to amplify the voices of people who are knowledgeable and experts, through schooling, studying, and lived experience. If this list helps as a starting point to foster conversation and knowledge, that is great; however, we can’t forget the accountability and action pieces that are a necessary follow-up.

 

As Ijeoma Oluo pointed out in a short, but powerful, video, “If you are gathering this information without the willingness to look at your own complicity in systemic racism. If you aren’t coming to this willing to be indicted in what you learn…If you aren’t willing to say, ‘I see myself in this. Here’s where I’ve been a part of it. Here’s where I’m actively contributing to harm.’ If you aren’t willing to, first, look at what you can do based on what harm you have been doing. If you aren’t willing to challenge the privilege that allows you do to that harm. Then, basically, what that knowledge will do, that anti-racist education that you’ve been soaking up without that accountability, will just be a weapon that you’ll be able to use to deflect any real accountability and to continue to center yourself in anti-racist discussions and anti-racist work. So it’s really vital that you be aware of that tendency, and that we all be weary of spaces that offer those with skin-tone privilege the ability to absorb a bunch of information and regurgitate it back out without ever actually having to investigate the role that they play in systemic racism.” It isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it is also about honest introspection, confronting your complicity, and personal accountability personally and, then, looking at needed systemic changes you can impact.

 

My plan is to continually come back and edit this post as I find additional resources. To that end, this list was last updated September 9, 2021. (You can also see my Equity Statement and Anti-Racism Policies and my post on Digital Citizenship, Online Privacy, and Fact Checking.)

 

At the intersection of anti-bias, diversity, and inclusion work and technology:

 

Sites that address a variety of topics from racism to disability to identity and more:

  • Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) has resources on a variety of topics for educators, but they are also great for parents
  • The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history with free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme, time period, and grade level
  • A Kids Book About is a good book series to start family discussions on a number of topics, and now they also have A Kids Podcast About, all from A Kids Company About
  • A helpful article about microagressions (also available as audio) as “the ‘micro’ in microaggression doesn’t mean that these acts can’t have big, life-changing impacts. They can, which is all the more reason to address them when you see them.” As Dr. Ainsley Lambert-Swain, PhD, pointed out in a tweet, “‘micro’ in microaggressions refers to the level of analysis in which they are observed, not the scale or magnitude of the harm they inflict.”
  • On the topic of tone policing, this piece by Nicole Cardoza is helpful
  • This word bank from The Student Ignition Society offers kid-friendly definitions of social justice words like “ally” vs “accomplice”
  • TeachingBooks.net has an author and illustrator pronunciation guide where authors and illustrators have provided brief recordings of their names so teachers, parents, and readers can say them correctly
  • This short but helpful explainer on how to think of privilege from Marie Beecham, “Some people have a hard time recognizing privilege, saying ‘I work hard. I don’t get things handed to me.’ I understand that. Here’s how I respond: privilege isn’t bonus points for you and your team. It’s unfair penalties the other team gets that you don’t. Privilege isn’t the presence of perks and benefits. It’s the absence of obstacles and barriers. That’s a lot harder to notice. If you have a hard time recognizing your privileges, focus on what you don’t have to go through. Let that fuel your empathy and action.”
  • The book This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers by Jamia Wilson

 

On the topic of race and racism:

**This page (@soyouwanttotalkabout) has changed its name as a result of call outs/call ins from others in the social justice movement and the discussion around whiteness and monetization of social justice. And that discussion is important to hear and understand. I found this post from @eliana.chinea titled “White-Led Social Justice accounts on IG” to be a helpful place to start. Also posts from @ijeomaoluo, who spoke on the name similarity to her book and her efforts to start a dialog to clear up confusion for followers.

Other helpful articles around social media algorithms, shadow banning, and social justice I’ve appreciated are “Taking On Tech: Social Media’s Anti-Blackness And Algorithmic Aggression In The Absence Of Accountability” by Ashlee Marie Preston and “Robin DiAngelo and the Problem With Anti-racist Self-Help” by Danzy Senna.

 

On the topic of LGBTQIA+:

 

On the topic of disability and neurodiversity:

On the topic of allergies:

This is a cause close to my heart as well, as my children experience peanut allergies and celiac disease and often feel othered as a result.

 

Booklists*:

Many groups publish children’s booklists and/or where to find diverse books that feature characters from a variety of backgrounds and/or address a variety of topics. I’m listing some of our favorites.

*For my family and my biracial children, it is important that not all the books featuring a diverse cast of characters are heavy or about trauma and hardship. We strive to have a book collection that shows kids from all different backgrounds and experiences also just being kids and experiencing and celebrating joy. I keep in my mind two Tweets I love:

  • “We need diverse representation not only so every kid can see themselves as the hero of the story, but so that every kid can understand that *other* kinds of kids are *also* the heroes of the story,” as said by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
  • “I’d like to see the book world move away from saying that stories that depict a marginalized group ‘humanize’ them. Those stories humanize *us*—the readers—by helping us to more fully understand everyone’s inherent humanity and value,” as said by Randy Ribay

And I felt this Twitter thread started by @heisereads did a great job highlighting how we need to examine not only a book’s message but also its illustrations with a critical eye because while it may be strong in message in one area (representation/an inclusive cast of characters, an important message, etc.), stereotypes/microaggressions/harm can be perpetuated in other areas (see talk in the thread about the eyes, but also the wheelchair, clothing, and adornment). Sometimes the whole book is a loss, but sometimes it can be a worthwhile exercise to engage with your young reader to help them examine the work critically and learn (like how we’ve engaged with Race Car mentioned below in my house).

I was asked about some of the titles that my family is reading, so here is a photo of some of the books we read and/or have gifted if it helps (click the photo to expand). Some books we definitely pre-read and don’t read at bedtime but rather during the day when we have time for discussion. Also they aren’t all totally perfect (for instance, I have a problem with the ending of Race Car and how simply and unrealistically it is wrapped up) but they are good convo starters. I’ve also included Bluebird, which is a simple quiet book about death.

Books my family owns or has gifted that feature diverse characters

Here is where I’m also trying to keep a list of titles I have read and appreciated or that I want to read as I combat my own biases and grow my understanding (click here). This list includes titles for all ages, but is by no means exhaustive.

 

Some of my favorite podcasts right now that focus on fascinating (and often hard) history and current events, both nationally and at times globally:

 

NOTICE: This page contains links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply continual monitoring of any/all of their content by Codified Concepts or Maren Vernon. Resources may become stagnant, non-working, or out of alignment over time and I will try to remove them as that occurs.

Posted on

Other posts to explore: