A renowned educational consultant, Dr. Derrick Gay is a strong advocate for the importance of students learning cultural competency and empathy if they are to successfully navigate an increasingly diverse, globalized and multicultural society.

At the annual conference of the Michigan Library Association in Novi, Michigan, he discussed the role of libraries in this crucial cause, in his closing keynote address on October 18, 2019. 

Watch a highlight from his speech here:

Check out this exclusive interview with Dr. Gay conducted by PBS Books Executive Producer Fred Nahhat:

In his presentation – “Reframing Diversity of the 21st Century” – Dr. Gay explores the necessity of library collections creating “mirrors” in which students are able to see themselves and connect with others who are different, as a meaningful way to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy and deepen inclusion.

PBS Books is proud to share this critical message with libraries and other institutions across the nations.  All types of libraries – public, school, academic and even special collections – have the unique ability to inspire children to see the world as the amazingly multicultural place it is. 

Dr. Gay’s words will encourage people to heed the call and become ambassadors of cultural diversity and inclusion.

An advisor to “Sesame Street,” Dr. Gay is an internationally recognized consultant on issues of diversity and inclusion, cultural competency and global citizenship.  He has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post and El Tiempo Latino, as well as on NPR and “60 Minutes.”  He has also produced two TEDx Talks: “The Double-Edged Sword,” examining the irony that the word ‘diversity’ often undermines diversity goals, and “Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century,” probing the nature of racial discourse in the United States. 

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