Fostering Empathy with Inclusive eBooks

3 min read

A podcast with author Duchess Harris

How can schools learn from the past and embrace our differences today? That’s a question Duchess Harris reflects on every day.

Harris, J.D. Ph.D., is an accomplished professor of American studies and political science at Macalester College. She’s also well known within the K‒12 community. Harris is the creator of the Duchess Harris collection from ABDO books and has authored more than 100 titles for school-age readers about the complexities of politics, culture, and society. Dozens of these powerful books are included in curated collections on Gale eBooks.

One such book is LGBTQ Social Movements in America, a title in Gale’s diversity and inclusion student eBook collections. For a recent episode of the Shelf Care Interview podcast, Harris sat down with Booklist to talk about the historical perspective from these pages and foster dialogue about a piece of the curriculum that isn’t always represented.  

“What I find is that if you do not see yourself reflected in material, you end up feeling like you were not a part of the American narrative,” Harris explained. “And so what I wanted to do is create some mirrors for young people, but then also to evoke compassion and empathy, to provide some windows into the life of young LGBTQ people for those who happen to be straight.”

That desire to inspire empathy is also evident in her books about race, social justice, gender equality, and more. These topics are covered in Gale eBook collections, providing schools with trusted, age-appropriate content at a time when they’re often first interacting with these complex ideas.

As educators know, encouraging productive conversations and introspection can be more challenging during times of distance and blended learning. That’s why it is critical for students to have access to relevant, up-to-date digital content that is available 24/7, anywhere they have internet.

“I celebrate Gale so much for having the foresight and the vision to already have these [eBook] materials before we were in the midst of a pandemic so that students can really stay engaged in work that often wasn’t even available in print material,” Harris said.

Want to see how these titles can inspire empathy and inclusion in your school community? Request a trial of diversity and inclusion collections on Gale eBooks.  

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