Volusia County libraries are giving out anti-racism kits to assist community members with having open conversations about race. These kits are an effort to gather the community together by pulling tools that will assist with bringing awareness about a subject that can seem hard to discuss.
“I think what the staff are hoping to see is civil discourse,” regional librarian Melissa Reynolds said. They are now available for checkout at all 14 Volusia County public libraries until the end of Black History Month in February.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the conversational books are designated for specific age groups:
- Adults: “The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations” by Robert Livingston
- Grades 9-12: “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds
- Grades 5-9: “Harbor Me” by Jacqueline Woodson
- Grades 1-5: “Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds
- Pre-K to Grade 3: “Something Happened in Our Town” by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard
The kits for children are designed to be discussed with family, and the adult kit is appropriate for book clubs and civic organizations. According to the Florida Humanities Council, the nonprofit that funded the project, they offer “community project grants” to nonprofits and public institutions in the state whose projects “strengthen vibrant communities and cultures, promote civic engagement, spark thoughtful community dialogue, and reflect on the human experience across the Sunshine State.”
Volusia County spokesman Kevin Captain stated in an email that library staff put the grant toward Anti-Racism Community Conversation Kits to encourage community discussions that center achieving harmony in opposing groups.