What is Diversity?
Diversity refers to a person’s experiences and backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and immigration status.
What is Inclusion?
Diversity refers to our differences and inclusion refers to the efforts used to embrace those differences. It describes how much one feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued. Inclusion is about seeing a person’s whole self, recognizing that their differences make them uniquely qualified to contribute to the whole.
What is Equity?
Working towards equity means interrupting inequitable practices, challenging biases, and creating inclusive school environments for all and removing the predictability of success and failure that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents and interests that every human possesses.
What is an Inclusive Education?
Inclusive education is the most effective way to give all children a fair chance to go to school, learn and develop the skills they need to thrive. It means real learning opportunities for groups who have traditionally been excluded – not only children with disabilities, but speakers of minority languages too. Inclusive systems value the unique contributions students of all backgrounds bring to the classroom and allow diverse groups to grow side by side, to the benefit of all.
Resources to Support Our Community
On this page you’ll find resources that were provided by members of the MES community as a starting place to educate ourselves and talk with our children about racial and social justice. Because of the current national climate, included below are many resources around race, ethnicity and social justice, as many students and families are dealing with racism, immigration issues and social activism.
Resources for Parents
How to Talk to Kids about the Capital Riots Experts weigh in on why it’s important to explain the news in an honest, age-appropriate way.
Don’t Shy Away About Talking to Kids About the Capitol Riots. They Know More Than You Think. (The Washington Post)
Is the News Too Scary for Kids? How, and when, to introduce current events to your children. (NY Times)
Teachers Across the Country Try to Explain an Unforgettable Day in US history The Washington Post)
@latinxparenting – Offers Latinx communities and allies family education that encompasses the cultural, socio-political and diverse needs of each family.
@allisonbriscoesmith – Allison Briscoe-Smith, Ph.D. is an East Bay mother of three and a child psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race.
@curious.parenting – Instagram account for all caregivers interested in raising resilient, liberated kids.
We Need Diverse Voices is a non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. Books recommendations and resources for children and adults.
Common Sense Media
Books About Racism and Social Justice for children by age range (Preschoolers (2-4); Little Kids (5-7), Big Kids (8-9), Tweens (10-12) and Teens (13+)
An aggregated list of book-related resources, including recommended book lists for children.
Oakland Public Library
A list of helpful books (sorted by grade/age level) as well as links to articles, videos, websites and more about talking to kids about racism.
Organization led by two parents which offers articles, children’s book lists, action guides and monthly webinars on a variety of topics.
23 Books That Teach Young Kids About Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality.
TV + Movies
Common Sense Media
Provides reviews for movies and TV by subject matter and age range
- Black Lives Matter TV Shows and Movies on Netflix
- Great Movies about African-Americans
- Movies with Inspiring Role Models for African American Girls
Events and Activities to Spark Conversation
- Attend MOCHA’s Porch Talk series invites children and adults to an art activity, speaker event and breakout groups facilitated monthly by MOCHA’s trained young adults.
- Visit Art and Culture Murals in Oakland
- Visit the Gallery of California History Black Power exhibit at Oakland Museum of California
- Print out Black Lives Matter or Feminist Icons Coloring Book Pages for your little ones or young people at home (Some are free or some cost money)
- Watch Emmy award-winning HBO Documentary “We are the Dream” featuring Ms. Torres’ 2018-2019 Second Grade as they compete in the Oakland wide MLK Oratorical Contest.
- Learn to make a traditional family meal or tell a family story at “Tonight We Unite”, Montclair’s annual event event that celebrates our unique and diverse student body.
Additional Parenting Resources
- Nice White Parents podcast: Five-parent series about building a better school system, and what gets in the way.
- Latinxparent.org: A bilingual organization rooted in children’s rights, social and racial justice and antiracism that offers family education and support.
- Parenting tips and a curation of anti-racist tools and resources for children and families
- Resources to support kids in the early teens, as they become aware of racial difference
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Anti-Racism: A List of Resources
- How to Talk with Kids About Violence at the US Capitol (Common Sense Media)
- How to Talk to Kids about the Capital Riots Experts weigh in on why it’s important to explain the news in an honest, age-appropriate way.
- Don’t Shy Away About Talking to Kids About the Capitol Riots. They Know More Than You Think. (The Washington Post)
- How to Talk to Kids about the Riots at the U.S. Capitol (NPR)
- Is the News Too Scary for Kids? How, and when, to introduce current events to your children. (NY Times)
- Teachers Across the Country Try to Explain an Unforgettable Day in US history The Washington Post)
- Raising Kids who Embrace Race: a Podcast from the National PTA: Notes from the Backback
Free Curriculum and Resources for Parents and Educators
- Teaching Tolerance Tiger Rising: Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.
- Black Lives Matter Curriculum: A team of people from around the country worked collaboratively to curate a variety of classroom resources for every age group. These resources are all free of charge and meant to be shared and used. The goal of these lessons and activities is to challenge racism and oppression and provide students with the vocabulary and tools needed to take action.
- The Teaching Tolerance Anti-Bias Framework: A Project of the Southern Poverty Center provides a set of standards leveled for every stage of K–12 education. Divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA)—the Standards recognize that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action.
- Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and a Parent/Guardian Companion Guide is designed to help students gain knowledge about race as it has been constructed in the United States, and aims to help students acquire an awareness of their own racial socialization and skills for engaging in productive conversations about race and racism.
- Integrating Math and Social Justice: Short two minute video.
- Trying Together: An aggregation of anti-racism resources and curriculum for teachers and adults.
- New York Times 26 Mini Films For Exploring Racial Bias and Identify with Students: The NY TImes pulled together 26 documentaries that range in time from 1 to 7 minutes and tackle issues of race, bias and identity. To help teachers make the most of these films, we also provide several teaching ideas, related readings and student activities.
Celebrating Our Diversity: Resources for Montclair Students
- Tonight We Unite Annual Montclair Event
- Annual MLK oratorical competition (Watch current Montclair students compete in the 2019 documentary We are the Dream).