About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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ASAP Links

Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Bias Resources

Systemic barriers that perpetuate the long-standing opportunity and achievement gaps between White and Black students – which start in early childhood – must be addressed in programs that serve young children. Several key barriers exist within early childhood education that prevent equitable learning experiences for children of color, including:
  • Implicit racial bias;
  • Inequitable policies and practices;
  • Cultural disconnect between home and school; and
  • Inadequate teacher preparation.

In an effort to create learning environments that are more diverse, inclusive, and reflective of our culturally diverse society, farm to school programs should keep in mind the equity-minded best practices outlined in our Farm to Preschool Toolkit Equity Statement.

Webinar Registration Open:

“Creating a Paradigm Shift: Preparing teachers to be equity-minded educators and leaders” – August 10 & 11, 2020

ASAP is learning from and collaborating with two organizations, Educational Equity Institute and National Black Child Development Institute, to offer a two-day webinar – Creating a Paradigm Shift: Preparing teachers to be equity-minded educators and leaders, August 10 and August 11, 2020. Join other early childhood advocates as we discuss, ponder, and make a plan about how best to prepare future early childhood professionals in their understanding of widespread injustice and racial inequality in our early childhood education system, with a particular focus on expulsion and suspensions that disproportionately affect Black and Brown children. Click here to register for this event
Key Partners: 
  • Educational Equity Institute: Educational Equity Institute’s vision is to build just and equitable communities who collectively work towards lasting change. The mission of the Educational Equity Institute is to facilitate authentic engagement and relationships that empower communities to guide the work of systems change.
  • National Black Child Development Institute: With the support of an Affiliate network in communities across the country, the National Black Child Development Institute is committed to their mission “to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy.” 

Questions and considerations that we use to guide our work

  • Who are we representing?
  • Who are we leaving out?
  • How can we create inclusive language and activities?
  • Whose voices are we elevating?
  • What experiences are we normalizing and/or centering?
  • Are we reinforcing stereotypes?
  • Are we promoting critical thinking and the exploration of diverse experiences and perspectives?
  • Who are our resources accessible to? How can we expand their accessibility? 

Parents and educators will find additional resources below that can be used to teach children about race, racism, diversity, and inclusion. 

Equity and Diversity Children’s Literature Lists

  • Growing Minds farm to school literature database: type “diversity” into the search bar to find books that feature diverse characters and perspectives
  • Children’s books about farm workers and migrant workers
  • Books for Littles: Books with an equity focus for children ages birth-7
  • The Brown Bookshelf: Designed to increase awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers
  • A Mighty Girl: Book (and movie, music, and toy) recommendations that celebrate girls and women of diverse backgrounds
  • Social Justice Books: multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators
  • Diverse Book Finder: searchable database of children’s books, plus real-time data on representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in picture books
  • Cookbook: Good for Me Recipe Book (National Black Child Development Institute)
  • Colorful Pages Coalition: grassroots organization getting books into the hands of children that are about children of color and written by authors of color (local to WNC)

Anti-Bias, Equity, and Inclusion Resources for Educators and Parents




  • TEDx talk with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations about Race

Food systems, farm to school, and cooking resources

Would you like to recommend a resource that you don’t see on this list? Please send us an email and let us know. This is a living page that we will be adding to and editing as we continue to learn and grow.