Developing a Literary Toolkit for Discussions of DEI at Educational Institutions

Tide Grant Awarded Spring 2021


In the spring of 2021, the Williams Elementary Outreach North Adams Student Leaders (NAPS SL) received a generous grant from the The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI). The grant program Towards Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (TIDE) is designed to pursue projects within the campus and extend to the local community.

Our grant, entitled Developing a Literary Toolkit for Discussions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Educational Institutions, focuses on a collaboration between Williams College and the North Adams elementary and high schools. Building off our 2020 TIDE grant, we will develop a booklist and create book clubs to instigate discussions surrounding the salient topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By providing a permanent collection of literary resources and a space to discuss their themes and implications, it is our hope that students and faculty within the Williams Community and members of the broader local educational community continue to participate in these discussions at all levels of education.

See the Current Projects page for updated information.

Who We Are

This website was created by the North Adams Public School Student Leaders in collaboration with our advisor, Amy Sosne. Together, we represent the North Adams branch of the Williams Elementary Outreach (WEO) Program at Williams College. This is one of many programs through the Center for Learning in Action (CLiA).

We are part of a team of students who work alongside classroom teachers in the North Adams Public Schools (NAPS) to teach and mentor elementary students in a variety of academic and social-emotional learning programs. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we have to learn about teaching and the field of education through these meaningful college-school partnerships.

Visit the About Us Page for more information


This work would not be possible without the support and generous TIDE grant from The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI)

We are also incredibly grateful to the hard work of the NAPS teachers, especially Mt. Greylock High School librarian Liza Barrett, for their help in launching the book club.

Additional Comments

Our work is centered around conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with the goal of facilitating institutional change. However, we recognize that certain groups have faced disproportionate racism and systemic inequality through systemic. In recent years, various movements have surfaced to give voices to those who have historically not had the space to advocate. By sharing our support in the statements below, we hope to stand in solidarity with these movements and activists while also ensuring that their voice remains the strongest in these meaningful movements.

Black Lives Matter

In the spring of 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement rose in prominence in the United States and around the world. The movement manifested in social media, public protests and demonstrations, petitions, donations, and much more. We want to recognize the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and of practices designed to promote anti-racism in educational settings. To that end, we are collecting resources that may aid educators in their pursuit of equity in the classroom. Please use the feedback form to help us add to this list.

We continue to seek ways to facilitate more substantive discussions about how we can actively disrupt racism. We aim to work collectively towards building a more just society that fully honors the lives of historically marginalized people. For us, a critical facet of the Black Lives Matter movement is the recognition that the lives of Black people matter everywhere, including in our classrooms.

Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders

We stand in solidarity with Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States and worldwide. We recognize the struggle for recognition against the “model minority” myth and support Asian-Americans in their fight for integration and equality. We are committed to advocating, listening, and learning. Although the Atlanta hate crimes have caused an increase in social recognition, we urge you to not treat this as an isolated incident. Asian-Americans consistently face racism, and hate crimes have been rising in the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that our collaborators will continue engaging in anti-racist efforts and education as we work together towards a more just future.

“It is more important that the students see a role model who encourages them to continue their education. And perhaps we can take a lesson from the students as well: to learn every day with the curiosity and appreciation that we had at eight years old.”

― Taylor McClennen