Fighting discrimination with books

Developing an inclusive library for children, to help tackle discrimination and inequality.

The challenge

The Bernardini Library and TdF Mediterranea Association are located in Lecce, a city in southern Italy. Sadly, racial and gender discrimination remains relatively common in Italy, where more than a thousand cases of racial and xenophobic discrimination are recorded every year. This problem is particularly severe in southern Italy.

The challenge team wanted to tackle racial and gender discrimination, to help make the world a better place for everyone. 

The initiative

Working together with a group of young people, they started by raising awareness of LGBT+ and multicultural issues. They did this by creating new sections in Lecce’s main library with diverse new books – as well as developing workshops with children. 

To launch the initiative, the challenge team put out a public call to people and associations that wanted to build the new library section together. They were inundated with responses! A group of young people who work with the library and LGBT+ and multicultural associations also form an integral part of the initiative. Input from anyone who wants to be involved in the creative process in any way is warmly encouraged.

The challenge team said: “We hope that in the end there will be more sensitivity to some of the issues raised, especially among young people: change will come with the next generations!”

What’s next?

The challenge team is keen to encourage other libraries and organisations across Europe to develop their own inclusive sections too. They are planning a series of meetings with writers whose books are being included the new library section, as well as organising some laboratories for children with education experts.

In order to reach a bigger audience, they have invited many partner organisations to research and plan meetings with them – and they are about to launch events on social media too.

Social media





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