You asked for it, and now it’s here!
On April 20, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) will launch the Second Edition and Spanish translation of its original children’s book, The Fair Housing Five & the Haunted House. If you’re in New Orleans, please join us for the book launch party on Wednesday, April 20 from 4:30 to 6:00 at the Children’s Resource Center!
GNOFHAC worked with parents, teachers, students, and New Orleans illustrator Sharika Mahdi Neville to develop the award-winning book back in 2010. The Fair Housing Five tells the story of a group of young students who discover that a landlord in their community is discriminating against their friends. The project was developed in response to the wave of housing injustices committed in Southeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, and serves as a tool not only for empowering children to think of themselves as advocates for justice, but also for reaching their parents with important information about their housing rights. The book has been updated to include a storyline about discrimination based on national origin and translated into Spanish to resonate with a broader audience.
The Fair Housing Five helps educators and parents initiate empowering conversations with children about opportunity, the Civil Rights Movement, and the role that all members of a community can play in advocating for justice. The Fair Housing Five has been incorporated into classrooms and youth programs across the country, has reached thousands of young students, and was featured in HUD’s Evidence Matters publication as an innovative tool for educating the community about fair housing. In 2015 and 2016, the book was introduced into all public elementary schools in the Baltimore County school system!
The urgent need to incorporate lessons on civil rights and social justice into our nation’s classrooms is underlined by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s dismal finding that a whopping 16 U.S. states do not require teachers to cover the Civil Rights Movement at all. According to the SPLC’s report (you can—and should—read it here), 35 out of 50 states cover “less than 20 percent – or, in many cases none – of the required content” of this major period of American history. If students are to understand and process current events and the ongoing struggle for racial justice in the United States, it is imperative that they have foundational knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement and the events and leaders that molded our society into its current state. To help educators seamlessly incorporate The Fair Housing Five into their existing curricula, the book and supplemental curriculum include strategies and tips for engaging Louisiana Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) in Language Arts, History, Civics, Geography, and Economics.
You can order a copy of the Second Edition or Spanish translation of The Fair Housing Five here. Educators and others working with youth who are interested in using The Fair Housing Five in their classrooms should contact Renee Corrigan at (504) 717-4571 or RCorrigan@GNOFairHousing.org.
Are you an educator who serves Spanish-speaking children in Louisiana? Call us today at (504) 717-4571 to receive a free copy of The Fair Housing Five through the month of April!