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Explained: Now is the prime time for campaigns like Books for Change

Books for change is a new campaign that is aiming to get diverse books into local schools.

The stories focus on protagonists from various minority groups, with the campaign hoping that the books can help to better represent children from all backgrounds, and allow them to grow into more ‘confident’ and ‘positive people’.

As abuse and racism continue at an all-time high, leading to mass protests and social media boycotts, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Who’s behind books for change?

Books for change was created by two women from Folkestone, aiming to help diversify their local schools bookshelves. Emily Ghassempour and Wendy Venables – Gordon, created the campaign back during the first lockdown, through ‘a love of diverse children’s literature’ and the ‘desire for change’.

Co- Founder Emily Ghassempour, reading a diverse book to local children – Source: Books for Change 

What change is needed?

The campaign is trying to tackle many of society’s major issues, including racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice.

The aim is to better educate the younger generations on diversity, so that they will be more accepting and knowledgeable on these different areas as they grow up.

Through this, they hope that it will help to reduce prejudice and lead to a more positive and accepting environment for the next generation.

Why books?

Books have typically always served as a great source of inspiration and passion. Providing many young individuals with the necessary inspiration to go on and be successful.

Books for change hopes that stories including diverse characters from all backgrounds, can provide a representation for everyone, and help youngsters to have a hero or role model to look up too, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity.

A collection of some of the books. Picture: Books for Change

Why Now?

Prejudice and discrimination are reaching all-time highs, with issues such as racism and online abuse becoming so prevalent, that it has even led to riots and protests such as what was seen with the Black Lives Matters movement, demanding change in retaliation.

Campaigns like Books for Change, believe that now is the right time for systematic change, and that in order to really help combat prejudice, you have to better educate those who seek to discriminate. They hope that through books, they can achieve this for the next generation.

What other movements and campaigns are there?

Other campaigns that share the same philosophy and aim as Books for Change, include We Need Diverse Books and the BookTrust. Where both are looking to help get children reading a more varied and diverse selection of books, in order to better educate.