When I think about today's society, it seems that the goal of education is for children to grow and get a job to support themselves and the economy. What if the goal was expanded to raise a new generation, capable of healing the wounds that inflict our communities? Racism, poverty, climate change, violence, food insecurity... What if the goal of education was for students to use their intellectual gifts, their character strengths, their deep appreciation for diversity and their study of justice to work within their communities and solve societal challenges that bring authentic healing? 

ACTION: Social Justice Standards

Action 16. Students will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.

Action 17. Students will recognize their own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice.

Action 18. Students will speak up with courage and respect when they or someone else has been hurt or wronged by bias.

Action 19. Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.

Action 20. Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.

Inspires other forms of activism: education, writing and speech.
Nonfiction narrative: Cause & Effect, Figurative Language, Sequencing, SummarizingPerspective: Pakistani

Shows how strangers all over the world worked together to track monarch butterfly migration.
Nonfiction Narrative: Main idea & details, relationship between eventsPerspective: Diversity

Reminds students that Indigenous People have been activists, protecting our earth, since time immemorial. Fosters interest in learning environmental practices from Native Communities.
Nonfiction Narrative: Figurative Language, Theme, Author's ReasonsPerspective: Indigenous

Encourage children to be sensitive and aware of the needs in their communities and guide them to develop solutions, however small. 
Nonfiction Narrative: Sequencing, Story Elements, Steps in a Procedure, Emergent Reader StrategiesPerspective: Social Action in an Urban neighborhood
Empowers students to recognize injustice and create action plans to address it. 
Fiction: Character Analysis, Problem Solution, Sequencing, ThemePerspective: Black American

Helps students understand the challenges that come when moving to a new country and how our global community can work together and build a home for all. 
Fiction: Story Structure, Visual literacy, Perspective: Immigrant
Analyze the way Nana Akua resists assimilation and uses education and storytelling to bring healing to the community.
Fiction: Problem/SolutionPerspective: Ghana, Black American

Centers Indigenous truths and provides background knowledge for students to understand concepts related to Indigenous history and resistance.
Non-Fiction: Text StructuresPerspective: Indigenous People

This resource helps teachers and parents find books that inspire conversations with children that affirm their lived experiences, encourage a genuine curiosity and love for diversity and inspire them to identify solutions to solve problems in their communities. 

If this is your first time hearing about the Social Justice Standards, learn more here.

Book covers images are from publishers and in the public domain