On Wednesday, February 26th, Fayerweather welcomed Wee the People for an engaging evening discussing issues of racism, equity, and social justice in children’s literature.
The workshop began with a discussion of racism, identifying it as a system that upholds white supremacy. This system then informs and shapes how many of us see the world, which is then often reflected in the books we read to our children. As we went through books including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Amazing Grace; Iggy Peck, Architect; and Ada Twist, Scientist; we looked at how race and racial stereotypes presented themselves. We then considered the authors, their perspectives, and the narratives being either upheld or challenged. We discussed ways to disrupt these narrativesas we read them, including pointing out the choices the authors and illustrators made in regards to race, questioning these decisions, and suggesting ways they might have been more equitable. The conversations were powerful and thought-provoking, and led participants to develop new insights around challenging the dominant perspective. We are so thankful to Wee the People for running this workshop, and look forward to working with them in the future.