ADL Launches Education Initiative Using Books to Combat Bias, Promote Cultural Understanding

New York, NY, April 20, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced today the launch of a new education initiative geared towards educators and parents, which uses books as a mechanism to address bias, prevent bullying and promote discussion and awareness of diversity and social justice.

Books Matter: The Best Kid Lit on Bias, Diversity and Social Justice” is a bibliography of over 600 books organized into 11 categories and reviewed and recommended by ADL’s anti-bias education experts. The categories include anti-Semitism, racism, religious bigotry, bullying awareness, anti-bias, gender and sexism, genocide and the Holocaust, LGBT people and issues, and social justice for children through age 12. As part of ADL’s outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community, there is a special category of bilingual books geared toward this community.

The site also features a “Book of the Month,” and includes both an educator’s discussion guide and a parent/family guide with additional resources. This month’s featured book, titled “El Deafo,” is a graphic novel that tells the story of Cece, who suffers a hearing loss at a young age and has to wear a bulky hearing aid, eventually transforming the “phonic ear” into a superpower.

“Our goal was to create a one-stop shop for families and educators to reap the benefits of specific literature on bias, diversity and social justice, and for parents and teachers to have tangible resources at their fingertips when attempting to discuss sensitive issues,” said David S. Waren, ADL Director of Education. “Books have the potential to instill empathy, boost self-esteem, teach about others’ experiences as well as inspire action, and we hope that by promoting such works, parents, students, and educators can use this platform as a tool to foster empathy and understanding of other cultures.”

As part of the initiative, ADL will feature a series of podcasts including interviews with children’s authors whose works are highlighted in the Book of the Month.

For more information on Books Matter, visit www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter.

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