Fighting discrimination with books

Lecce, Italy

Challenge team: Bernardini library and TdF Mediterranea APS

Population of Lecce: 94,989

Summary: Working with a group of young people, this library in southern Italy is developing inclusive workshops for children and awareness-raising activities to help tackle discrimination and inequality.

The Bernardini library and TdF Mediterranea Association are located in Lecce, a city in southern Italy – a country where, sadly, racial and gender discrimination remains relatively common. More than a thousand cases of racial and xenophobic discrimination are recorded across Italy every year.

Working together with a group of young people, this challenge team is raising awareness of LGBT+ and multicultural issues 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. 

The challenge team started with a brief course of participatory planning and are currently working on a catalogue of LGBT+ and multicultural books that will help people to navigate the new section of the library. 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!”

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