WHAT IS SOCIAL JUSTICE? 5 environment by encouraging unity, equity, and self and/or community empowerment through social justice themes like bullying, respectfulness, religious diversity, LGBTQ+, ethnicity, diverseabilities, and much more. Given the opportunity, titles with social justice topics can and will inspire self-reflection and foster an awareness of new perspectives. In a society that has become more globally connected, social justice themes in storytime help to normalize and celebrate the diversity that is all around us. Social justice at storytime provides: a safe space for groups that have historically been marginalized a way to be inclusive of all groups of people living in your community a way to promote unity, equity, self, and self and community empowerment a way to not just celebrate diversity, but normalize it the community with confidence in themselves and in the library Safe spaces are created for individuals who feel marginalized to come together to communicate regarding their experiences without being treated as insignificant or not important. These spaces are intended to provide respect and emotional security and support to those who feel this way. In addition to providing this support in safe spaces, storytime is also meant to encourage dialogue by participating in and sharing what we recognize, understand, or learn from the stories this can be considered fostering a brave space. Brave spaces are inclusive of all social identity groups. With careful consideration, social justice at storytime can and will foster either a safe or brave space for its participants. This is social justice in action. In these spaces, there is opportunity for full and equitable participation from all participants that is “mutually shaped to meet their needs everyone actively participates” (Adams). Social justice at storytime can be indirect or direct we will discuss this further in Chapter 4. However, here the point must be made that a direct social justice storytime provides specific themes in the books and songs that could create discomfort for caregivers who are not comfortable hearing about certain themes or who has made a conscious decision not to discuss social justice themes with their child, which can lead to concerns. In Chapter 8, as we address concerns surrounding social jus- tice at storytime, we will address the question “Why bother bringing these topics to storytime?” A few examples of these concerns are: Wouldn’t bringing up issues of marginalization and disparities or any social problem during storytime create the opposite effect for children?,
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