-[George the Puppet] Hello, I’m George, and I’m here to say welcome to our fun show for the day. Fun 4 the Disabled is here to present Children’s Books That Heal, a cool new event. Today’s book is called “Intersection Allies” written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith. This book introduces the lives of several girls of many different identities of race, ability, class, and citizenship. And now, here’s Vanessa to introduce our reader for today.
-[Vanessa] Thanks, George! I’m so excited to share this story with you. Today, actress Dr. Chantrise Holliman will be reading the book called “Intersection Allies”, written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, with illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith. “Intersection Allies” was published by Dottir Press. As the title suggests, this book is about the beauty of intersectionality. A person’s intersectionality makes up their personal identity, which may include a beautiful and unique combination of skin color, age, ability, culture, and more! It is so important to learn about our own intersectionalities, as it can also help us relate to others. We may be more similar and interconnected to those around us than we think! Now let’s give it up for today’s actress, Dr. Chantrise Holliman!
-[Chantrise] Hello! My name is Chantrise Sims-Holliman and today I am going to read for you “Intersection Allies: We Make Room For All”, written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith. Witness the lives of a bold group of friends. If one is in need, another defends. Age is one trait that each of them share, but kids’ lives are unique, as you’ll soon be aware. Each child has a story and their own point of view, filled with passion and power, just like you. My name is Alejandra, but I go by Allie. I use a chair, but it doesn’t define me. Instead, it allows me to zip, glide, and play. When I need to get through, friends help make a way. Where there’s room for some, we make room for all. Friends can be allies no matter how small!
Hello, I’m Parker! After school every day, Allie’s family takes care of us both while we play. My mom works hard to provide for me. Her love’s the source of our stability. Not toys or money, nor treasures untold — community care is more precious than gold. Skirts and frills are cute, I suppose. But my superhero cape is more “Kate” than those bows. Some may be confused that a kid like me can wear what I want and be proud and carefree. My friends defend my choices and place. A bathroom, like all rooms, should be a safe space. My name is Adilah, and just like Kate, what I wear inspires endless debate. Some give some chant, some sing, some pray. My hijab is my choice — you can choose your own way. The clothes that you wear never justify hatred. Clothes can be playful, simple, or sacred. Covered, adorned, or with casual flair, my body’s my own, I dress it with care!
My name is Nia, and with what’s on the news, it’s easy to be frightened or sing the blues. For her, for them, for him, and for me, we all deserve to breathe and be free. The color of our skin is no reason to hide. We protest for safety, equality, and pride. Our friends join along in solidarity and love. This is the stuff that allies are made of! Safety also includes our tress and air, the land we’ve called home, our places of prayer. I am Dakota, and like my ancestors, my tribe and I are water protectors. From prophet and power, we stand up to preserve our nations, our cultures, and the respect we deserve. My name is Gloria, y tengo siete años. After school, it’s to la frutería I go. Trabajo cada día junto a mi madre. Vendemos piña dulce, and mangos con chile. My language and savvy allow us to thrive. I’ve got hopes and dreams and skills and drive! Working together makes us both more secure. I’m a daughter, a partner, and an entrepreneur.
My name is Hijong, and I was born in Seoul. I moved here when I was five years old. I’m part of what’s called “the 1.5 Generation”, my parents and I span two different nations. Like Gloria, I am a help to my mother by translating for her one word to another. When the landlord tells mom, “You can pay me next Friday,” I repeat in Korean: “Omma renteu daeum ju geumyoire naedo doendae!” We navigate life in our new home together, ’cause kids have the skills to make every day better. My name is Yuri, and I’m new to this place. Hijong’s family welcomed me with love and with grace. Finding refuge meant traveling far from home. I sailed, I flew, I rode, and I roamed. Escaping violence, war, heartache, and intrusion, we came to this nation seeking dreams and inclusion. From near, from far, from here, from there — We’re more than our origins. We all deserve care.
Race, religion, citizenship, class, and ability: each of these intersects to form identity. Age, gender, size, and skin color too, can make living life different for a friend than for you. Barriers and biases are often to blame. We strive to be equal but not all the same. Life’s ups and downs can take many forms. But standing together, we’ll rewrite the norms. Where there’s room for some, we make room for all. Friends can be allies, no matter how small!
-[Vanessa] Thank you, Dr. Chantrise Holliman, for that reading. Did you enjoy the book? I know I sure did, and I learned a lot too! Every new friend introduced in the book is so unique and fun. They might have had different abilities or spoken other languages, but I know that with our intersectionalities, we are allies and friends! Kids, I hope you enjoyed this story. I hope that you saw someone like you in it. Don’t forget to learn about and appreciate your own intersectionality, and use it to be an ally for other people. Parents, continue to show your kids that they have complex and beautiful identities that can help them relate and empathize with the rest of the world. If you have any thoughts to share, please put them in the comment section below. Thank you once again Dr. Chantrise Holliman for reading “Intersection Allies”, by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, with illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our newsletter and check out more of our Fun 4 the Disabled presents: Children’s Books That Heal series. Here’s George to close us out. Bye-bye!
-[George] Thanks for watching “Intersection Allies”, written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith. Understanding who we are is great ’cause it helps us relate so we can be an ally for others, ’cause this can do wonders. No matter how different we may be, we should be there for each other gratefully, ’cause together we can go past the sky. And hey, thanks for stopping by.