Outside the Lines
In 2016 I gathered coloring pages from the internet to set out for children attending a concert of mine. The subject was social and environmental justice, and I wanted the kids' materials to reflect this too. I found scores of pictures of MLK, along with one of Susan B Anthony, and a few that were clearly scanned from a fabulous coloring book called "History of the Civil Rights Movement" from Dover Publications. But the collection I gathered was not comprehensive.
After the concert, a mother called me to tell me that her 9-year-old child had been so curious after working on the page depicting the Woolworth's Lunch Counter Sit-in of 1960, that it prompted them to purchase a book about the event and learn much more. She made it clear that this conversation would not otherwise have happened at this time.
This collection is focused on a diverse range of heroes, the ones I did not find in 2016. Young, old, throughout time and from all over the world. People who fought or are fighting for rights of minorities and the oppressed, including women, girls, and the LGBTQ community. Famous people and those who are not, but really ought to be.
I knew that Aimee Belanger, would be perfect to manifest this project. She is a Boston-based painter, ceramicist, drawer, printmaker, book-binder, and teacher. She understood immediately the power that art can have in opening doors for learning and greater understanding. This is but one of her many projects. You can find her work on her website and on etsy.
Outside the Lines is an open door to a child's natural curiosity. The answer to the question: How do I start the conversation?
Use the pages however you are inspired: busy work while waiting for dinner, part of a lesson for your class, interior design for your new baby's nursery, homeschooling, mindfulness coloring...
We offer short bios for each hero, but we hope you will be inspired to learn more about every single one. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips, you just need a reason to start looking.
Who is your justice hero?
Enjoy, and be sure to color outside the lines.