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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

showing a diverse cross section of hands
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. 
Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Diversity Task Force

Equity is the foundation framing every aspect of the educational system from curriculum adoption to professional development. With this vision in mind, Oakwood Schools has established an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to lead the District in creating a solid foundation. 

Juneteenth National Independence Day

President Biden signs Juneteenth into law

President Joe Biden signed legislation June 17, 2021 establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day,  a U.S. federal holiday.

"I have to say to you, I've only been president for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have as president," Biden said at the White House during a signing ceremony.

Juneteenth marks the date some of the last enslaved people became free.  On June 19, 1865 Union Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

The holiday is the first federal holiday established since 1983 when Martin Luther King Jr. Day became the 11th federal holiday recognized by the U.S. federal government.  

The Next Right Thing

Task Force Introduction

Oakwood Inclusion Coalition

Oct, 12, 2020, members of the Oakwood Schools' Board of Education approved a resolution showing support for the Oakwood Inclusion Coalition.

The OIC's mission is "To study, promote and celebrate an inclusive, equitable, diverse and welcoming environment and community for everyone who lives, works, visits or passes through Oakwood."

OIC’s Big Read for Summer:  Caste

OAKWOOD, OHIO — The Oakwood Inclusion Coalition has selected Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson as its “Big Read” summer initiative.

The OIC will host the first book discussions virtually on June 22 at 10 a.m. and July 15 at 7 p.m., with additional dates pending.  Copies of Caste are available in a variety of formats at Wright Memorial Public Library and other local libraries.  Visit www.oakwoodic.org to register for an event or to download a book discussion guide to host your own event.

Wilkerson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns, examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and how our lives are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. She explains, “… the term racism may be insufficient in our current era. We need a new language, a new framework for understanding our divisions and how we got to where we are. Caste gives us this language and allows us to see ourselves through a different lens and the chance to work toward healing from the wounds of artificial hierarchy. We must first see it to begin to resolve it.”

For information about the OIC and updates regarding “Big Read” events and resources, visit www.oakwoodic.org

Children and Young Adult Books

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff is a picture book that celebrates the changes in a transgender boy's life, from his initial coming out to becoming a big brother.  The book won the 2020 Stonewall Book Award.

In this edition of Just for Fun Story Time,  Angelina Abbott reads Rainbow:  A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart.  The book reveals the colorful meaning behind each rainbow stripe in a simple and engaging format for young readers.

Here's Scholastic Storytime with Wright Library's Miss Jacqui as she introduces us to two Black Americans who used reading and education to achieve marvelous heights, to the world’s benefit.

Resources

With the help of Oakwood Schools staff and the Wright Memorial Public Library, we are developing a list of resources to help parents and students talk about diversity and racism.

Diversity Book Finder

Image of students with books
All Ages

2019 Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners - arranged by age, from preschool to young adult.  Awards are re given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Children Need Diverse Books - Wright Memorial Public Library Children's Librarian Karen Mills helps parents build an inclusive bookshelves for their children

A Mighty Girl - a list of books on prejudice and discrimination that can be sorted by age and reading level

Books and Resources to Help You Raise Anti-Racist Children - Brightly provides books as a great way to start a conversation about race with the kids in your life. 

Elementary Reading Level
Collection of picture books demonstrating diversity

20 Picture Books for 2020
EmbraceRace was founded in early 2016 by two parents who set out to create community and gather resources they needed to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters.  Here's their collection of 20 picture books.

 

 

 

Children's book list

 

Young Adult/Teen Reading Level
Ways to make sunshine book cover

Ways to Make Sunshine - Renee Watson
Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind -- school, self-image and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she's got the talent that matters most: it's a talent that can't be seen, she's nice, not mean!

 

Teen book list page 1
teen book list page 2
teen book list 3
 

Their Eyes Were Watching God -  for young adults.  The book, first published in 1937, has become the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Parent Resources

Here's a collection of blogs, podcasts, videos and a reading list for parents and educators looking for information on how to share information about diversity and race with children.