Changing the world, book by book: Inside one woman’s mission to spread messages of inclusion

100 books that will help your children learn about diversity

UCF grad donating books focused on diversity to teachers around the country
UCF grad donating books focused on diversity to teachers around the country

Deeply impacted by recent events, one Florida woman has made it her mission to spread messages of love, diversity and inclusion through books.

Ashleigh Taylor, 25, said the unrest that’s followed the death of George Floyd, and recent anti-Semitic comments made by celebrities on social media, fueled her to take action.

As she began her mission, she decided that, instead of posting her thoughts on social media, she would call on her friends, family and followers to help her. Taylor’s initial goal was to donate one book a month to a teacher.

“I figured, I loved hearing the diverse stories when I was in elementary school, and I figured, ‘Hey, these stories I remember to this day. Why not shape a child’s memory, their education, their values on how they view other people by providing a book to their teacher?’” Taylor said.

A little more than a month into her project, she has distributed 100 books to classrooms — covering topics from race, religion and gender — across the country, thanks to donations she’s received from all over.

“I’ve sent books to North Dakota, Massachusetts, Virginia -- everywhere,” Taylor said.

She ensures the books match the reading level. The teachers are grateful, Taylor said, adding that she knows the books can make a positive impact in these kids’ lives.

"What matters is when you grow up, are you going to be a good person who treats people well? And I think that's something that teachers have so much influence over, especially through reading," she said.

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