We are in this work together

DEI & ABAR Resources

UCDS school values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We intentionally center this value in our curriculum by carefully crafting what we teach and how we teach. Teachers make a thousand choices a day—both big and small, explicit and implicit—and with each of these, our goal is to expand and deepen students’ understanding of self and others.

We invite you to use the following resources to help with the very important work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

UCDS Library Recommendations

Non-Fiction Books

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness – Anastasia Higginbotham
A white child sees a TV news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a black man. ‘In our family, we don’t see color,’ his mother says, but he sees the colors plain enough. An afternoon in the library’s history stacks uncover the truth of white supremacy in America. Racism was not his idea and he refuses to defend it.

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation – Duncan Tonatiuh
Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story – Paula Yoo; illustrations by Dom Lee
Presents the true story of Dr. Sammy Lee and his desire to become an Olympic diver in an age when racism and prejudice ruled in America and describes how he honored his father’s wishes to become a doctor as well.

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life – Ashley Bryan
Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents and contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices – Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Wells Hudson; Foreword by Ashley Bryan
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

Picture Books

The Big Umbrella – Amy June Bates; Co-written with Juniper Bates
A spacious umbrella welcomes anyone and everyone who needs shelter from the rain.

Chicken Sunday – Patricia Polacco
To thank Miss Eula for her wonderful Sunday chicken dinners, three children sell decorated eggs to buy her a beautiful Easter hat.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut – Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James
Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barbershop with newly cut hair.

The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by Rafael López
Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself. But later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Freedom On the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins – by Carole Boston Weatherford; paintings by Jerome Lagarrigue
The 1960 civil rights sit-ins at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, are seen through the eyes of a young Southern black girl.

Jabari Jumps – Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons. He’s passed his swim test. It’s just… maybe he should do some stretches first. ‘Looks easy,’ says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back.

The Other Side – Jacqueline Woodson
Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides the town.

Yo! Yes? – Chris Raschka
Two lonely characters, one black and one white, meet on the street and become friends.

Chapter Books

Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
This award-winning author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.

The Chupacabras of the Río Grande – by Adam Gidwitz & David Bowles; illustrated by Hatem (Series: Unicorn Rescue Society)
Uchenna and Elliot travel with Professor Fauna to the Texas-Mexico border to save the region’s animals and help bring a divided community back together with the help of locals.

The Crossover – Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health (Part 1 of 4-part series)

The Mighty Miss Malone – by Christopher Paul Curtis
Deza Malone, the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, accompanies her mother and older brother on a trip to find her father, an African American man who left to find work after the Great Depression hit. They end up in Hooverville outside of Flint, Michigan, and her brother attempts to be a performer while Deza and her mother search for a home.

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich – Ibi Zoboi; illustrations by Anthony Piper
In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance.

Stella By Starlight – Sharon M. Draper
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town

The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA – Brenda Woods
Gabriel, twelve, gains new perspective when he becomes friends with Meriwether, a Black World War II hero who has recently returned to the unwelcoming Jim Crow South.

Poetry & Short Stories

Flying Lessons & Other Stories – Edited by Ellen Oh
From basketball dreams and family fiascos to first crushes and new neighborhoods, this anthology, written by award-winning children’s authors, celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage
Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins; poems by Kwame Alexander, Jorge Tetl Argueta, Joseph Bruchac, Nick Bruel, Margarita Engle [and nine others]; pictures by Paula Barragán, Sawsan Chalabi, R. Gregory Christie, Julie Downing, David Kanietakeron Fadden [and eleven others].

A collection of works by poets and illustrators of diverse backgrounds sharing memorable childhood and family experiences and reflecting on their different heritages, traditions, and beliefs.

Online Resources

Resources Compiled by UCDS Faculty

This document contains lists of books, articles and activities for kids and adults. This is in no way a complete or perfect list of resources, but rather serves as a starting point in our continuing commitment and action to dismantle systems of oppression.

Resources for Having Conversations about White Supremacy, Anti-Racism, Black Lives Matter and Systems of Oppression

Online Book Collections


Online Resources

Resources for Justice & Community Support

  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
  • Justice for Floyd is a petition from Change.org demanding justice for George Floyd.
  • Campaign Zero is a police reform group that has been working on policy solutions “informed by data and human rights principles.
  • We Love Lake Street: Help support the South Minneapolis Lake Street Corridor community rebuild. The corridor includes businesses and nonprofits predominantly owned by immigrants and people of color.

Resources for Education & Parenting

Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News

Link to Common Sense Media Webinar

Racism has a profound impact on the health and well-being of our kids. Right now, racism against the Black community is being laid bare for all families to see—from the pandemic’s disproportionate impact to police brutality and other racist violence. With near-constant exposure to news and social media, more kids are witnessing violence and its aftermath firsthand. As elected leadership and institutions fail to protect Black lives, protests, anger, fear, and a nationwide call for justice have ensued, creating an opportunity to speak openly with our children. How can these conversations be most effective?

Please join child development, children’s health, and trauma-care experts to talk about ways families can support their children, one another, and a just future.

Resources Compiled by Director of Learning Support Director Abby Sandberg, Ph.D.