Library to Host Programs to Combat Racism and Promote Social Justice


Main Library Exterior Night
Cambridge Public Library has announced a lineup of programs for families and children aimed at combatting racism and promoting social justice set to begin in May. The programs, which are geared for children and their caregivers, were conceived by a task force created by the Director of Libraries to create public programs to address systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd last year. The Library is committed to building an anti-racism, equity, and inclusion environment and culture. All programs in the series are free and open to the public and will be held virtually. Registration is required to participate in each event. 

Programs offered as part of the series include: 

Virtual Storytime for Little Activists
May 17, 11-11:30 a.m.

20 minutes of movement, music and play centered around the Movement for Black Lives! Offered in collaboration with Little Uprisings, a Boston-based organization that seeks to inspire social and racial justice through programs centered in the joy of playing which affirm children of color and create allies out of white children through sustainable relationships with schools and community organizations.  Registration is required to participate in this event.

The ABCs of Racism: Fostering Anti-racist Conversations + Action with Kids 
May 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Geared for White or multiracial audiences, this interactive workshop will explore fundamental concepts in racism and antiracism and the barriers that prevent adults from talking about race and racism with kids. The workshop will highlight strategies to build the racial literacy that is urgently needed to engage our children in antiracist conversations and action. This workshop is offered in collaboration with Wee the People, a Boston-based organization which provides adults the resources to initiate difficult conversations about race and social justice with kids and each other, and inspires children to notice injustice and discover the power of their own voices by exploring traditions of resistance and protest through the arts. Registration is required to participate in this program.

Speak on It: A Social Justice Workshop for Tweens & Teens
May 19, 4-6 p.m.

Presented in collaboration with Zahirah Nur Truth of ZNT Arts, this workshop celebrates identity and creative expression as a tool to empower young people to speak up against injustice in our communities and around the world. Participants in the workshop will use text art inspired by artists and reflect on recent injustices to inspire the use of their own voices to create a mini protest sign/banner using techniques frequently applied in the creation of comics. Registration is required to participate in this program. Please visit our website for a list of supplies you will need for the program. 

Wee Are Every Good Thing: Celebrating and Affirming Our BIPOC Children
May 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This workshop is led by children’s book author Francie Latour, whose award-winning picture book Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings tells an inter-generational tale of culture, community and identity through a Haitian American girl and her beloved aunt, an artist who lives in Haiti. Offered in collaboration with Wee the People, the program takes a deep dive into the world of powerful, affirming, and beautifully illustrated children's books by BIPOC authors and illustrators. Geared for audiences of color, this workshop will hold space for parents, caregivers, educators, artists, activists, clergy, clinicians, and others to share experiences as we explore a wide range of characters and themes in children's books. Registration is required to participate in this program.

Race and Song: A Musical Conversation
May 21, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

This program is presented by Reggie Harris, a songwriter, storyteller and lecturer who uses the spoken word and music as a vehicle to effect social change and Alastair Moock, a folk singer who has garnered a Grammy nomination and three Parents’ Choice Gold Medals for his children’s albums. Friends of different races, ages, and social backgrounds, Harris and Moock share how they’ve seen and experienced the world in different ways. They explore issues of race, class, gender and history with an intentionality and generosity of spirit that will draw in kids and adults alike.  Registration is required to participate in this program.