Padma Venkatraman has long been interested in diversity. Her involvement began when she was a graduate student in oceanography and she used her knowledge of the lack of diversity in science to inform her efforts to encourage diversity, first in the field of oceanography and then in the field of literature. Directly before she became a full-time author, Padma Venkatraman directed diversity efforts at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School.
Dr. Venkatraman continues to write and speak about diversity. Her articles have been published by SLJ, Kirkus, Horn Book, PW, Nerdy Book Club, YA Wednesday and NYT Bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s blog, among others.
Most recently, her daughter began a diversity and inclusion effort at her school. Here are a list of ideas that the two of them came up with together. You may feel free to adapt any of these ideas for use, but please do provide an acknowledgement.
General Diversity Resources
- We Need Diverse Books
- Diverse Verse (a recently created website and community effort founded by Dr. Venkatraman)
- Brown Bookshelf
- Hijabi Librarian Article on Evaluating Books with Muslim Characters
- Dr. Debbie Reese’s Website with Reviews and Recommendations of Books with Indigenous Characters and Content
- Jewish partisans educational foundation
- Girl Trek
Some RI – related diversity resources:
- https://provcomlib.org/racial justice
- RI Black Heritage Society
- 1696 Heritage Group
- YouTube 3 part series on RI’s Black History
- some thoughts on cultural appropriation
Some diverse book lists:
- Diverse Verse Novels, Poetry Collections and Anthologies (padlet created by Dr. Venkatraman)
- Diverse Verse Novels and Poetry Pinterest Page (created by Dr. Venkatraman’s daughter)
- Scary Story List (created by Dr. Venkatraman’s daughter)
- Anti-racist booklist from Penguin Books
- Walter Award Winning Books