Nearly 3 months ago, following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the world tried to understand how something so awful could happen. This ignited mainstream discussion about systemic and institutionalised racism. Allowing everyone to realise that in the words of Angela Davis: “in a racist society it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist." As a brand and as individuals, we acknowledge that we need to continually put in the work to educate, speak up and take action against racial injustice.📢
With this in mind, and the summer holidays soon ending, there has never been a more poignant time to reflect on how we educate our children, and ourselves. We want to celebrate the idea of ‘back to school’ week as for everyone. It’s not just children who can be learning and listening, it’s all of us. At UpCircle, we want to encourage everyone to take ‘back to school’ week to explore and read anti-racism resources. For many of us, this summer meant a surge in consumption of articles, podcasts and books about race - but there’s always more we can learn. So, we’ve created a non-exhaustive list of resources which we hope will educate and inspire you.
The #BlackLivesMatter conversation has made all of us at UpCircle reflect on how we’re actively educating ourselves, but also crucially our children. Back in June we spoke about the importance of children’s education in working towards an anti-racist society. From this, we promised to address the lack of inclusiveness and diversity in children's books in UK schools.
We’ve taken the summer holidays to turn these words on anti-racism into tangible action. As UpCircle, we pledge to donate a bundle of children’s books, that have a black protagonist and are written by black authors and illustrators - to 100 schools across the UK. We want these books to give children access to black history, and enable hugely important discussions about race. 📚
Our aim is to get these books into schools, ready for when children return at the start of September. We know many of you wanted to get involved when we announced this back in June, so here’s how you can:
Each book in the bundle is suited to a different age group and brings its own special message...
🚌 The Last Stop on Market Street - CJ is disappointed with having to get the bus when his friends get the car. His Nana helps him to see the beauty and fun in their routine.
🌊 Clean Up! - Rocket goes to the Caribbean to visit her grandparents, but is shocked by the pollution spoiling their home and putting the local sea life at risk
💙 Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History - beautiful illustrated book that illuminates iconic and lesser-known male figures in history.
💜 Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History - illustrated book that shows inspiring female figures in history.
✨My Hair a little girl searches for the best party hair, showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles.
Finally, for every Hand Wash sold until the end of this month, we will donate £1 to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. This has been our chosen charity since the start of July, because of their incredible work to tackle inequality in all forms.
Team UpCircle 💚