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Early Childhood: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Every child should see themselves reflected in their early learning experiences. We include literature, art, and culturally relevant resources that celebrate differences and the diversity of all early learners.

"Muddy Ballerinas" is written by Richmond, Virginia author Hollee Freeman, is based on a story about three young friends bonded by laughter, love and birth dates. These friends, from different racial and cultural backgrounds, always have the best time laughing and playing together, whether it’s during a tea party, on the soccer field or splashing in mud puddles.

“More than Peach” is a picture book illustrated by Fanny Liem and written by Virginia-based 11-year-old activist and entrepreneur Bellen Woodard. Inspired by an experience she had in school when classmates referred to "the skin-color” crayon, Bellen made it her mission to help students and educators — in her school and across the country — understand that “skin can be any number of beautiful colors.” READ MORE

“Willie The Weed”- Written by Erick Baker and illustrated by Tristan Napotnik, “Willie The Weed” is a whimsical tale of resilience about a brave young weed’s battle to grow in a flowerbed full of daffodils. This inspiring children’s book, by Emmy Award-winning writer and singer-songwriter Erick Baker, celebrates our differences, encourages optimism, and reminds us that #WeAllBelong.

“Adventures of the STEM Brothers” - a non-fiction children’s picture book about three brothers, Johnny, Thurman, and Vernon - is written by Dr. Rhea Lynne Gordon Miles, who was inspired by both her father's (Johnny) and her uncles’ journey as African American men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) during segregation, the civil rights movement, and into the 21st century. READ MORE

“Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” is a New York Times bestselling publication by author, artist, and filmmaker Vashti Harrison. The first of six in her children’s book series, “Little Leaders” shines a light on the stories of forty African American women who helped to shape history. READ MORE

“A Promise to Grow” follows the story of CJ, a kind-hearted young boy with big dreams who likes to do good deeds. Inspired to help someone out, he creates a community garden in his Westhaven neighborhood in Charlottesville, Virginia. READ MORE

"My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams" was inspired by Ava Holloway and Kennedy George, two ballerinas. Their photos were taken by Marcus Ingram and Julia Rendleman in front of the monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Richmond, Virginia. Ultimately, those photographs went viral, and this moment propelled the duo into a summer of activism and dance. READ MORE

Black Excellence


VPM celebrates Black history, culture, and excellence through powerful documentaries, podcasts, specials and more. Explore stories of triumph, adversity, and achievement on VPM PBS, VPM News, VPM Music and social media @myVPM.

VPM uses the power of public media to educate, entertain, and inspire. We explored equity in education through our virtual and TV series Racism: Challenging Perceptions and Racism: Challenging Perceptions - Progress and Promises.

Watch: "Equity in Education"

Watch: "Creating Equitable Education Systems"

Discussion Guide: Creating Equitable Education Systems

Shining an Equitable Lens on Every Student


Educators are leaning in and being very intentional about equity in education. Still, some educators may have questions about how to best support their diverse students and lead them toward a path of educational success. Check out this article for more information and support for your own equitable learning environment (from PBS TeachersLounge).

Media has the power to educate and explore differences, especially for young children. Check out resources here:

Virginia Department of Education: A Teacher’s Guide to Educational Media for Diversity and Equity (PDF)

PBS LearningMedia: Expanding Narratives Using Media: A Planning Kit – This collection has been carefully selected by New York City educator and curriculum consultant Vivett Dukes to showcase ideas, achievements, and contributions by American people of all backgrounds across eras. The content highlighted within each topic is intended to expand the scope of voices centered in curricula by elevating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color stories. These resource sets are intended to inspire you, educators, to use Learning Media intentionally and creatively to teach topics across all subject areas.