The City of Holland Human Relations Commission conducts activities that promote social justice and cultural understanding and improve relationships among all city residents. Our goal is to normalize the community conversation around diversity and inclusion. The best time to do this is when our children are young and most receptive to these concepts. One way to do this is through children’s literature. Diversity Rocks the Books starts us down this very important road.

The world is not made up of all the same people. It’s important for kids to see themselves in books so they can dream.

Melissa de la Cruz, author

When kids grow up not seeing themselves in books, they grow up feeling like they don’t matter.

Eric Smith, author and associate literary agent at PS Literary

Diverse readers grow up to be more empathetic

Sarah Park Dahlen, assistant professor St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN

Children need windows and mirrors. They need mirrors in which they see themselves and windows through which they see the world.

Rudine Sims Bishop, “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors,” in Perspectives (1990)

…because diverse books reflect the world as it is, not the way the world never way and the way the world never will be.

Ezra Hyland, University of Minnesota, founder of the CEHD African American Read-I