One of the things Dr. Robert Nix talked about during his workshop on Brief Interventions was research his colleague Markus Brauer is doing about discrimination and prejudice in an area called Intergroup Perception. In a recent study he did, he found that white people were more likely to help out a black woman who had dropped her purse were more likely to help her if they had been exposed to posters that point out the heterogeneity (differences among) black people–images of a variety of people, with name, age, and a one-word descriptor of their personality. People were more likely to help if the poster showed a whole variety of differences (optimistic and pessimistic; warm and cold). If you want more information about Dr. Markus Brauer and his work, check here.
This was yet another reminder for me of the importance of libraries collecting, sharing, promoting, and displaying a whole variety of books with diverse characters. If our children and teens have access to stories and images of a whole variety of different individuals from diverse backgrounds, it can make a difference in how they live in the world!
We need to be sharing and talking about diverse stories with kids of all ages. Finding storytime books, display books on any topic, books to promote in booklists and booktalks, and more is worth your while. Dr. Brauer’s work is further evidence of that. Check out We Need Diverse Books for a treasure trove of resources and ideas related to this topic!