When and how do children learn about race and how do we talk about race, especially in Maine’s mostly-white communities? And how can books help?
Author-illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien and researcher Dr. Andrea Breau will share information on when and how children begin to notice and make sense of social difference (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, class), and when and how to have productive, effective conversations with children about race. They will share recommended books and examples of scripts to use with children at different ages, as well as resources for continued exploration, and respond to questions from participants about particular challenges.
Anne Sibley O’Brien has published 38 children’s books which she wrote and/or illustrated (and has visited many IRW schools), and has been involved in antiracism and diversity education for more than forty years. She is the co-founder of two Maine-based projects featuring diverse children’s literature: I’m Your Neighbor Books and the Diverse BookFinder.
Dr. Andrea Breau received her B.A. from Colby College and her Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Ohio State University. Born and raised in Lewiston, Andrea’s deep Maine roots and academic interests eventually led her back to her hometown, where she is currently raising her own family. Her research focuses on the racial and place-based identities of teenagers in Lewiston. Andrea has worked for Lewiston Public Schools and the Lewiston Public Library, and most recently for the Diverse BookFinder at Bates College.