Our Partnership with the HRC (Human Rights Campaign Foundation)
It’s with great privilege that I am able to share with you that Stories Like Me will be supporting the Welcoming Schools Project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
As part of our work, Stories Like Me will be selling books recommended by the HRC and sharing back to the HRC and Welcoming Schools a percentage of all sales associated to these titles. As you can imagine, this is a tremendously exciting step for our store and I’m delighted to be working with such incredible advocates at both parts of the organization.
You may recognize the Human Rights Campaign from its iconic logo, a yellow equals sign on a dark blue background. Their mission is as follows, as taken from their website:
“The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.”
The Welcoming Schools Project is a special division of the HRC specifically focused around creating safe and welcoming schools:
“HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the most comprehensive bias-based bullying prevention program in the nation to provide LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training, lesson plans, booklists and resources specifically designed for educators and youth-serving professionals. Our program uses an intersectional, anti-racist lens dedicated to actionable policies and practices. We uplift school communities with critical tools to embrace family."
As part of its mission, Welcoming Schools provides recommended book lists to ensure an inclusive environment in the classroom. These lists include books about diverse family types, gender expansive stories, and more for elementary school and middle grade students. The mission of Welcoming Schools perfectly aligns with the mission we have at Stories Like Me, and we hope that with these bundles and individual titles, educators and individuals alike can find stories that represent the diversity of their students.
Read more by visiting the Welcoming Schools Website.
Stories Like Me, in an agreement with the HRC, is now selling these books both as bundles or as individual titles. These are on offer both for individuals and for people buying for their classrooms. As part of our partnership, 10% of our net sales for all books indicated with the Welcoming Schools projects will be donated back to the HRC as a way of continuing to ensure all children have safe and welcoming places to learn.
We are honored, humbled, and READY to be a supportive partner in building safer and more welcoming schools.
So how did this happen?
How did I end up talking with the CEO of Welcoming Schools?
It was another one of those moments of 15 seconds of embarrassing bravery (a nod to “We Bought a Zoo”). Back in 2019 (yes, before the divorce, before the pandemic) I had researched the Welcoming Schools Project as a source for superbly curated books that would help build out our collection at Stories Like Me. I had printed out pages and pages of their handouts available freely on the website.
Fast forward to 2021, now in Pittsburgh, still in the pandemic, but with moments with my head above water to think big, I wanted to know if there was a way I could support the HRC and Welcoming schools - and give back, at the same time as generating sales for us and of course awareness about the mission of the HRC.
So I reached out to the Welcoming Schools Project, and set up a call to talk with their CEO.
My first thought was, WOW, then - ok that sounds great!
I met with Cheryl and we talked briefly. While interested in the idea, she and I understood that this was a conversation that needed to include a legal review. After a bit of back and forth so that this would be a collaboration that would be legally possible, HRC sent me paperwork for our partnership. Barely able to contain the excitement, I proceeded, reviewed an agreement, sought help with understanding, and signed just a couple of weeks ago.
WOW - AMAZING!! OK… still super excited
Next, “ORDER THE BOOKS HELEN!” - so I did…. Out came the credit card and I placed the initial orders to see what these bundles might look like, how we might add them to our website - and the results are in.
Collections are created
Books are added
All books on Stories Like Me (storieslikeme.com) with the Welcoming Schools School Bus logo are part of this program. Nothing you need to do differently - just know that you’d be supporting their work as well as expanding the horizons of our young’ens.
To learn more about the Human Rights Campaign and their Welcoming Schools Project, I encourage you to check out their website.
We hope you love these books as much as we do and consider supporting this wonderful cause.
With Respect -