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Staff Book Recommendations: Karmen Rouland

Karmen Rouland

November is National Literacy Month! To celebrate, we asked our staff to recommend their favorite equity books. Here’s what they said…

By Karmen Rouland
Associate Director of Technical Assistance & Training, CEE

There are two books that I am always ready to recommend to other people! One of them is The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, and the other is Schooltalk: Rethinking What We Say About–And To–Students Every Day. The Color of Law, written by Richard Rothstein, outlines the myth that segregation is largely due to prejudice and attitudes. He painstakingly goes through how the government played a role in racial segregation and housing, and how building organizations were given tax exemptions and other benefits to enforce racial segregation. The government essentially enforced who could buy homes in which neighborhoods. Every time I pick it up, it gets my blood boiling. You can see so clearly how law was used to enforce attitudes of the day.

The other book I recommend is one that I use in my trainings and recommend to my clients all the time. Schooltalk, written by Mica Pollock, is about how we talk to students and what language we use when we talk about students with our colleagues. Are we using language that’s helpful or harmful? Pollock provides several activities, prompts, tools, and resources for educators and folks in schools and in school districts to support student learning. I have so many other book recommendations, but those two are very fascinating and concrete for different reasons.

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The MAEC blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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