Our Commitment to Racial Equity


As our nation reckons with systemic racism and the deep and historic inequities that have long existed, the Reach Out and Read community reckons with our role and our responsibility to take action. We often talk about our platform – a platform for opportunity for children in the earliest years and months of life. And yet that platform, given our scale, size, and dedication of our vast network, can and must be leveraged as an agent for change. 

There is much work to do, not just over days and weeks, but months and years, and yet, the foundation on which we build is strong because of the values that we share and demonstrate – to one another, to our network, and to the children and families that we serve.

There is much work to do, not just over days and weeks, but months and years, and yet, the foundation on which we build is strong because of the values that we share and demonstrate – to one another, to our network, and to the children and families that we serve.

In support of the global campaign for racial justice and social equity, and with reference to the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health, it is incumbent upon us to work toward meaningful change in all that we are and all that we do. Our model and our mission are anchored in supporting pediatric clinicians to help families use books to foster relationships through stories and language-rich interactions, including starting ongoing conversations about race and racism between parents and their young children. Diverse and culturally responsive books help open the door to these critical discussions, starting in early childhood. While we have always acknowledged the importance of having our books reflect and affirm families and cultures of diverse backgrounds, we will accelerate work underway to increase the availability of books for infants and toddlers that are both diverse and culturally responsive. We will also develop training materials and guidance to support our medical providers to encourage families to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion with young children.

We want communities of color that we serve to be represented and to be seen, and we know that the books and the guidance that we provide to our pediatric partners are key to achieving this.  Books and guidance are not the only levers, and we recognize that we have deep and ongoing work to do in order to live out our commitment to racial justice and social equity, and will continue on this journey as a network in the months and years to come. We are committed to these efforts as the only national pediatric early childhood literacy model that has a near-universal scale.

Over the next three months, Reach Out and Read commits to:

  • Promote and leverage partnerships with publishers and other organizations that provide diverse and culturally responsive books
  • Create a resource page  with diversity, equity inclusion and anti-racism resources for providers and families
  • Establish a “Windows and Mirrors Book Fund” to raise money for the purchase and distribution of diverse books to ROR sites

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