WNDB is well acquainted with grassroots organizing—#WeNeedDiverseBooks began as a rallying cry on social media six years ago. Our message is no less urgent today, and diverse books are only the beginning. During difficult times the call becomes much louder, but it is always present.
We know that every person has the power to create change in profound ways. That’s why we have created the WNDB Resource Guide, which provides action items to help with causes you believe in, information on voter registration and rights, and a host of curriculum guides focused on politics and civics for educators and parents.
As we near election day in the United States, we hope these resources will encourage political engagement and voting for your home, classroom, and library. Let’s work to change the world together.
Educate Future Voters: Educators can sign up for weekly teaching resources on voting rights and resources for registering young voters, all from Teaching Tolerance, a project from the Southern Poverty Law Center. You can share your voter registration success stories as well!
Get Friends to Vote: Want to encourage your friends to vote? Check out this tool from HeadCount that helps you inspire three friends to vote.
Let’s Talk About the Election Challenge: Students can create and publish audio and video commentaries for a national audience via this youth media challenge from PBS-and-NPR affiliate, KQED.
Learn How to Be a Savvy Voter: Take a free, one-hour course on fact-checking, attend a virtual town hall to hear from Gen Z voters, and more as part of this MediaWise Voter Project from the Poynter Institute dedicated to voting based on facts — not fiction.
Send a Letter to Congress to save the U.S. Postal Service via Color of Change. The organization works to “design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champions solutions that move us all forward.”
Voting Resources and Registering to Vote
Epic Reads’ #VoteReady: Register to vote and check out a quick primer/FAQ on voting by mail, how COVID-19 will affect elections — with a strong focus on the issues that may affect the upcoming 2020 election.
GLAAD Voting Resources: Find out how to vote if you are experiencing homelessness, your name doesn’t match your ID, or you’re formerly incarcerated, all from GLAAD. You can also participate in their social media campaign to #VoteWithPride.
Global Citizen: Just Vote: Confirm your voter registration for a chance to win an experience with or exclusive swag from artists, musicians, and actors like Taylor Swift and DJ Khaled via this initiative from Global Citizen.
How to Vote for the First Time Ready to head to the polls, or to fill out your absentee ballot, but not sure how it all works? This guide from Teen Vogue covers registering to vote, researching the issues, and casting your ballot.
Rock the Vote: Tech for Civic Engagement: Register to vote, check your voter registration status, and get reminders about the election all with these digital tools from Rock the Vote.
VotoLatino: Find out about voting safely during COVID-19, check your voter registration, and learn all about the issues at stake this election at Voto Latino, a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters.
VoteRiders: Rules for First-Time Voters: Voting for the first time? This resource includes all the relevant information you’ll need to get registered, and what to know for when it’s time to cast your ballot.
When We All Vote: Voter Resources Hub: This non-partisan organization, launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, has information on where you can register to vote, find out voting locations, or request a mail-in ballot.
Why Student Voters Matter: Millennials and Gen Z will be the largest share of eligible voters in 2020, and the Campus Vote Project aims to get those voters to the polls. Via resources like listings of state guidelines, voter-friendly campuses, and more, get ready to vote on November 3rd.
Advance Project: This next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization is working to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive, and just democracy. Check out their resources on voting rights to find information on rights restoration and the right to vote.
Black Youth Project: Dedicated to exploring what young, Black Americans think about the political, cultural, and sexual choices and challenges confronting them and their peer group through research, articles, and action.
Colorlines: A daily news site where race matters, Colorlines features reporting, analyses, and opinions on topics including race in Hollywood, racism as a public health crisis, and the intricacies of defunding the police.
Human Rights Watch: This team of experts, lawyers, journalists, and others investigates and reports on abuses worldwide to protect the most at-risk. Check out their #ReparationsNow message to Congress, and send along your own missive.
PEN America: Founded in 1922, Pen America works to protect free expression worldwide. Their comprehensive “What to Expect 2020” works to combat disinformation during the upcoming election.
Race Forward: Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Their research on racial justice issues includes community-focused decision making and racial equity in the workplace.
RAICES: This non-profit provides free and low-cost legal services to marginalized immigrant children, families, and refugees. Join their Text for Migrant Justice Team or sign their form to tell ICE to release all immigrants at risk of COVID-19.
Social Justice Books: Voting Rights Reading List: Check out this book list from Social Justice Books that has titles for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers.
The Native Justice Coalition: The Native Justice Coalition’s goal is to be a platform for healing, social, and racial justice by and for Native American people. With a primary focus on racial justice, the grassroots, community-based organization also tackles issues like addiction recovery and sex trafficking.
We Came To Learn: This call to action for police-free schools has an assault map, statistics, and ways to get involved and help.
YR Media: A national network of young journalists and artists, YR Media works to create content on politics, identity, and more important issues, like this report on online learning and mental health.
Teaching Resources: Election / Voting / Civics
Anti-Defamation League: Representing the People: This look at diversity in voting populations for middle and high school-aged students covers the 2018 Midterm elections and the diversity of elected officials.
iCivics: Facilitate student involvement with a political debate guide and these student election resources from iCivics, an education resource aimed at providing students in America with civics education. Games about executive branch powers and voting are also available.
Library of Congress: Presidential Elections and the Right to Vote: Find out about the requirements to become president and the intricacies of the electoral college. Lesson plans and classroom materials are also available.
Project Citizen: Find practical, hands-on resources and curriculum focused on the U.S. government, and how people can work to both monitor and influence it. Free professional development opportunities are also available for middle and high school teachers.
PBS: The Election Collection: Find lesson plans, in English and Spanish, for grades four to 13-plus, on topics like political campaigns and presidential elections, all from the Public Broadcasting Service. Explore subjects including the Electoral College and Should 16-Year-Olds Be Allowed to Vote?
Scholastic: We the People, Make Your Voice Matter: This comprehensive guide from publishing house Scholastic has resources on “Understanding Government,” “Media Literacy,” and “Active Citizenship.”
VOTE: An Instructional Guide to Elections: Developed by the New York City Department of Education, this Civics for All resource includes lesson plans on analyzing political cartoons, political parties, and voting demographics.
If you’d like to purchase Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh or Running by Natalia Sylvester, we are using Bookshop, which “[gives] away over 75% of [their] profit margin to stores, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books!”
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