Books that Represent for GMSD


After the events of this past month sparked by the killing of George Floyd, our friend, Drew Jurs, decided to take some positive action. His family set out to raise money for his hometown elementary schools for books that feature people of color as protagonists and/or celebrate black culture. Inspired by such positive responses from his efforts, Rachel Lazure and myself have partnered with Germantown Municipal Schools to do the same. 

Racial injustice, in its roots, starts from lack of understanding. According to children development specialists, children learn racial bias as early as 2 years of age. By kindergarten, “children show many of the same racial attitudes that adults in our culture hold— they have already learned to associate some groups with higher status than others” (Kinzler, 2016). Diverse children’s books can help promote tolerance, encourage productive conversations about race, and combat racial biases.

As a coordinator from the NYC Educational Justice Initiative explained:

“Books can shape how children view themselves, others and the world and how they will form self-identity.”

Our goal is to raise $3,000 – enough to buy four books for every Kindergarten and 1st grade classroom in GMSD elementary schools. Should we surpass this goal, we will expand our effort to include more grades as well. We aim to buy from African American owned booksellers. Attached is a preliminary list of books to be vetted by teachers. 

Rachel and myself are both products of GMSD education. We attended Dogwood, HMS and HHS, which we graduated from in 2016. As much as our K-12 education set us up to succeed in college and now post grad, we resonate with Drew’s experience in that we too do not remember being exposed to topics like diversity at a young age nor remember reading many books with characters who did not look like us.

When we reached out with the idea, GMSD not only liked it, but decided to match whatever we raise! We are both very proud of our district and their continuous effort to improve.

We realize this is a small gesture in a much larger, systemic issue. However, we truly believe in the power of education. We hope you consider joining this cause. Thank you!

Estimated Budget



 See top
  • Christopher Hadley 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
  • Laura Cordera 
    • $20 
    • 21 d
  • Andrea Lum 
    • $50 
    • 21 d
  • Jessica Taveau 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Sonja Martin 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
See all


Stephanie Barton 
Germantown, TN
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