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Race & Social Equity Resources

Race & Justice Resources

Public libraries serve as trusted institutions grounded in social responsibility and the public good. In recognition of this, the Chatham Area Public Library Board of Trustees approved our signing onto the Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity, which commits the Chatham Area Public Library to:

  • Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices
  • Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
  • Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
  • Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
  • Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities

The work toward racial justice and the advancement of equity for everyone can start with a book, an article, a film, or an idea. Our library collection offers patrons new perspectives and experiences on race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, culture, language, geographic origin, level of education, religion, age, and size. The curated resources from our catalog below may help guide your exploration and action around race, justice, and equity.

Recently Published Recommended Books for Kids

Title: Hair Love
Author: Matthew Cherry
a girl with beautiful hair sitting on a man's shoulders
Title: Eyes That Kiss In the Corners
Author: Joanna Ho
A young girl holds a flower and there is a butterfly in the corner
Title: Milo Imagines the World
Author: Matt de la Pena
An illustrated boy wearing a green stocking cap is thinking of doodles
Title: The Proudest Blue
Author: Ibthaj Muhammad
A girl in a blue hijab that turns into an ocean, while another girl is on a boat on the ocean a
Title: I Talk Like A River
Author: Jordan Scott
A shirtless boy walking through a river
Title: All Are Welcome
Author: Alexandra Penfold
A black man holding a girl's hand, leading a diverse group of kids across a cross walk
Title: Sam is My Sister
Author: Ashley Rhodes-Court
Title written in red amongst stars and planets with 3 kids playing in a box "spaceship" below.
Title: Saturday at the Food Pantry
Author: Diane O'Neill
a cute girl in winter clothes places a box of food into a grocery cart
Title: Worm Loves Worm
Author: JJ Austrian
two small bees drop rose petals around 2 worms staring at each other
Title: The Wall in the Middle of the Book
Author: Jon Agee
A boy dressed as a knight parades in front of a large brick wall with the title of the book on his sign. Reaching one arm over the wall is a giant.

Classic Recommended Books for Kids

Title: Last Stop on Market Street
Author: Matt de le Pena
a little boy holding a woman's hand as they wait for the bus
Title: One
Author: Kathryn Otoshi
One written in off white on a white cover with a blue fingerprint in the "O"
Title: Same, Same but Different
Author: Jenny Sue Kostecki Shaw
A white boy with a city background the title and then upside down underneath the title an Indian boy and an Indian background
Title: One Green Apple
Author: Eve Bunting
A photo of a girl in a traditional hijab holding an apple with kids behind her picking apples from trees
Title: Red: A Crayon's Story
Author: Michael Hall
The red crayon is coloring the top half of the cover blue. Five other color crayons wait below.
Title: The Day You Begin
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
A girl with an afro and holding a book peeks in a door
Title: A Bad Case of the Stripes
Author: David Shannon
a girl lying on pillows with a thermometer in her mouth covered in bright rainbow stripes
Title: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors
Author: Hena Khan
a girl holding a silver lantern in front of a golden-domed mosque
Title: Island Born
Author: Junot Diaz
Title: Tia Isa Wants a Car
Author: Meg Medina
A woman in a red dress hugs a girl as they sit on the hood of an old-fashioned car

Recently Published Recommended Books for Teens

Title: Efren Divided
Author: Ernesto Cisneros
A teenage boy walks across a bridge with the city behind it
Title: Stamped: racism, Anti-Racism, and You
Author: Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi
A black silhouette in the background with red stripes over it and a blue title over all
Title: Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Two teenagers sit facing away from the reader towards an orange and black city landscape
Title: We Are Not Free
Author: Traci Chee
The teenagers painted on the side of a house, the girl looking at a paper crane, a boy sitting and writing, and a boy looking discontent; all with a pile of real luggage in front of it
Title: Hey, Kiddo
Author: Jarrett Krosoczka
Cartoon depiction of a sad teenager with a shadow looking away
Title: Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Author: Malinda Lo
A dark city street with a girl lit walking under a streetlight
Title: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
Title over a background of a large, blue sky, the American plains and a covered wagon leaving; all with a small section of the American flag at the bottom
Title: This is My America
Author: Kim Johnson
A young Black woman stares out with a darkly colorful background; the white title is over all to the right
Title: The 57 Bus
Author: Dashka Slater
Handwriten title with flames beneath
Title: Accountable: The true story of a racist social media account and the teenagers whose lives it changed
Author: Dashka Slater
a blue green background with neon letters scribbled over to look like people in black with a social media heart 1 on top

Classic Recommended Books for Teens

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
A black teenage girl with jean shorts, tennis shoes, and natural hair holding up a large sign with the title of the book
Title: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Author: Art Spiegelman
A picture of an older mouse in a yellow coat and a younger in green with a black swastika and a Hitler-like cat face; and a blood red title
Title: Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
A black background with a falling toy Indian and cowboy
Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Tree limbs cut to look like a person's face with tape over the mouth; the title in yellow
Title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
The title on a beautiful green and brown background with the faint silhouette of a darker green tree.
Title: Freak the Mighty
Author: W.R. Philbrick
A small boy atop a giant in plaid's shoulders.
Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
An orange and light green background with a tree on it
Title: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Author: Mildred D. Taylor
a group of 3 Black children gathered together with flames in the background
Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
A woman with an afro depicted in black and white against a warm colored artistic background
Title: I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings
Author: Maya Angelou
A large picture of Maya Angelou on an orange background with a purple vine along the edge

Recommended for Adults

Title: A Burning
Author: Megha Majumdar
Orange, yellow and red flames burn, beneath there is a small, black train with white smoke
Title: The Family Chao
Author: Lan Samantha Chang
The cover is mostly taken up by the title. There is a frame with 4 flowers in the corners and a tiny dog walking on the frame at the bottom
Title: The Removed
Author: Brandon Hobson
Colorful diamond pattern with an upside-down black and white picture in the middle of a person standing in a road
Title: Token Black Girl: a memoir
Author: Danielle Prescod
Pink background with a Black Barbie-like doll facing away from the reader
Title: What's Mine and Yours: a novel
Author: Naima Coster
Multi-colored artistic background with the title in yellow over it
Title: Our Missing Hearts: a novel
Author: Celeste Ng
A blue background with a brown striped feather disintegrating into tiny birds flying away
Title: A Good Neighborhood
Author: Therese Anne Fowler
a yellow fall leaf on a white background
Title: Solito: a memoir
a silhouette of a nine year old boy with a large backpack, filled in with a desert landscape with a moon and mountains in the distance
Title: Honey Girl
Author: Morgan Rogers
A young woman with honey colored skin, hoop earrings, dark lips, a white shirt and yellow hair with flowers in it, stares out at the reader
Title: Black Cake
Author: Charmaine Wilkerson
Multicolored swarms both make up and hide a Black woman's face

Recommended Resources

Race and Social Equity Resource Guide

Film Discussion Kits

film discussion kits OPEN. VIEW. EXPLORE.

Through our Film Discussion Kits, the Library hopes to support the community in exploring and discussing various social justice topics through documentary film viewings. Documentaries can bring issues and ideas nearer to their viewers, and discussions provide the opportunity to engage and connect with others around important issues.

Each Kit contains a DVD and discussion guide with questions, watch-alikes, and space for note taking.   To read more about them check out our Library of Things page.