Bank Street Library Blog

Library Salon #31: Children’s Literature for an Anti-Racist Society

Join Us In-Person or Online

Friday, November 17, 2023
5:00 PM EST – 6:30 PM EST

Fifth floor library, also on Zoom

Event Title:
Library Salon #31:
Children’s Literature for an Anti-Racist Society

Learn how to differentiate between a diverse, affirming, and anti-racist children’s book. Bank Street School for Children teacher Susie Rios and children’s librarian Kharissa Kenner will delve into these nuances and demonstrate how to curate an inclusive classroom library. Jennifer Brown, ex-officio president of the Jane Addams Peace Association will also present on the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award which annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.

About Our Presenters

Jenny Brown, senior editor of Shelf Awareness, an e-newsletter for the book trade and also for consumers, has spent the past 30 years toggling between her two passions–education and bookmaking. She has served as director of the Center for Children’s Literature and interim children’s librarian at Bank Street College of Education, and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers. When she’s not combing bookshelves for her next read, you can find her performing cabaret at Don’t Tell Mama in New York. Jenny lives with her husband in Hewitt, NJ.

Kharissa Kenner is the children’s librarian at Bank Street School for Children. She is a member of the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee and is an anti-racist children’s literature advocate dedicated to teaching educators and families about books that combat stereotypes and affirm children. She has presented at the Kindergarten Conference (2022, 2023) and NYSAIS Diversity Symposium (2022, 2023).  Kenner is also a reviewer for Shelf Awareness. She has a Master’s in Library Science from Queens College (MLS) and a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College.

Susie Rios is a kindergarten teacher with 20 years of teaching experience in elementary education. She has presented at the NYSAIS Diversity Conference (2022) and the NYSAIS Brain Conference (2018). Rios co-founded and co-chairs the Anti-Racist Book Group at Bank Street College. She is dedicated to building racial understanding in classrooms through the use of picture books, discussion, and experiential learning. She has an MA in Curriculum Development from SUNY Empire State. Dr. Rios also has an MA in Educational Psychology and a PhD in Education with a focus on the Neuroscience of Learning, both from CUNY Graduate Center.