In April, our Emergency Sanctuary received a very generous donation from a local Junior League group of children’s and young adult books that reflect our efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion.

These books provide a broad range of visual and narrative representation of children and families. A popular book from this donation has been My Princess Boy, by local author Cheryl Kilodavis, about a boy who loves to wear pink, glitter and tiaras.

Recently, one of our Sanctuary guests eagerly listened to this story over and over, sharing how often he had dressed up like a princess too. His sister listened along and had some comments about how boys were not supposed to be princesses. This book offered some perspective to both these siblings, with the boy expressing excited validation in his relation to the character, and staff having the opportunity to help his sister understand that not everyone expresses strict roles according to their assigned gender.

Hopefully books like these along with our other efforts at the Sanctuary will continue to help every child that enters our care feel safe, welcome, and important.

At Amara, part of our work with diversity, equity and inclusion has been about being open and affirming to those who present with diverse  gender expressions. Through our trainings with HRC and the creation of our own Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care workshop, we recognize that it is essential to create an open environment for children to explore and express themselves outside of “traditional” gender norms as they question and figure out what gender identity/expression they feel most comfortable with. Learn more about our workshops, support groups, and other work with the LGBTQ+ community!