Monday, November 11, 2013

Take a Trip to Diverse City

Link to buy Diverse City by Shawna Ray on Amazon

A student and teacher favorite, Take a Trip to DIVERSE CITY welcomes you to a free state of heart and mind; open to new and different people, places, and experiences. This rhyming picture book encourages children of all ages to accept and celebrate one another while welcoming cultural diversity. There is a message about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, discussion questions, and a letter to young authors in the back. A portion of the proceeds goes to support unity initiatives.

This special B5 edition includes a CD with national music group B5 (kids might know their song “Get Your Head in the Game” from High School Musical) narrating the book and Shawna Ray singing the book in song form with added B5 chorus. 

Inspired by a true story, this educational children’s book begins as some of the kids on the playground in Same City will not let Jacob play because his skin color is different than theirs. Zachary stands with his friend and invites the kids on an imaginary trip to explore Diverse City. They enjoy a variety of savory meals at Spice of Life Cafe, and share in different ways of creating with an array of colors and textures at the Art Spot.  They hear different styles and moods of music in the streets and talk about the importance of each individual. When the kids return from their change in perspective, things are much more colorful and the children are free to appreciate their differences and enjoy playing together.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shawna Ray is also a singer, songwriter, and mother of two students. She shares her passion for unity and talks to kids and young adults about diversity and resolving conflict in relationships with a full assembly presentation. Shawna tells the true story about her son Zachary and his friend Jacob who inspired her first book, encouraging young authors to follow through with their ideas. Shawna has a degree in Public Relations from Otterbein College and has previously worked in Outreach and Engagement at The Ohio State University and as an event coordinator and  disability/diversity awareness trainer and program coordinator with Goodwill Columbus and United Way of Central Ohio. Shawna currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. 

ABOUT B5: Atlanta Georgia is home to the 5 dynamic brothers known as B5 (Dustin, Kelly, Patrick, Carnell and Bryan)! You've seen them on Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV and BET; heard them on High School Musical, Hanna Montana and Disney! Growing up multi-racial, (black and white mix), the brothers have lived diversity! 'This is why we felt so passionate about participating with this project, because it all starts with kids!' states Bryan. 'Success, knowledge and love have no color! It's the way you think that makes the difference,' says Patrick. 'Diverse City is 100% B5 Approved! It lets kids know that we are all beautiful in our own way!' 

Book Content:

Take a Trip to Diverse City

Ó COPYRIGHT1/1/05 Shawna Ray
A Children’s book
Dedicated to Zachary & Jacob: May you always appreciate your differences and treasure your friendship.

‘Twas a gray kind of day outside in Same City.
The school bell rang; recess was beginning.
Jacob and Zac tried to join the ballgame.
But some kids told Jacob that he couldn’t play.

For his skin was “brown” and theirs was “white,”
Zac stood by his friend knowing that was not right.
“Why?” he thought, “should it matter at all?”
Each child in the class had a difference he saw.

“They’re trippin!” said Jacob, and Zachary agreed.
“A trip – hey, let’s all go to Diverse City!”
Some kids were afraid and chose not to go,
But adventure is fun and soon many followed

“Good food,” Zac said, “is the first thing we need.
Let’s walk down the street and get something to eat.”
At Same Café, the food can be dull
By adding some spice it becomes flavorful.

Let’s dine a place with savory meals.
We’ll enjoy all the various blends and appeals.
The aroma is sweet and the menu delights.
Everyone can find something they like.

Embrace all the tastes and the sounds and the smells.
New friends are welcome to dine and to tell
Stories and memories of journeys they’ve shared.
The table is open; acceptance is there.

Next stop is the art shop; the colors are vast.
You can paint every shade, be creative and laugh.
Mold the soft clay into balls and cool shapes.
Make a cup, a bowl or a tall flower vase.

We all have ideas that are new and exciting.
Let’s color together or sit alone writing.
Think of a story, imagine the scene.
It’s great to create when the mind is so free.

“Who wants to move on?” Zac said to his friends.
I hear a cool sound that is drawing us in
To the streets where live music is filling the air;
A bouncy drum beat and loud trumpets do blare.

A band plays aloud; music lifts like the moon.
Each different sound is forming a tune.
It then turns so gently as the melodies change
To a ballad sung sweetly, like soft falling rain.

“Each one is so wonderful, don’t you agree?”
Zac talked as he walked down Diverse City streets.
There are people at work, each with skills of their own
By joining together we get much more done.

“If all were the same, we’d be missing all this.
We need everyone to share their unique gift.
We learn from each other and life can be found
In all styles and flavors, new sights and new sounds.”

As they returned to the classroom later that day
The kids were different and everyone played.
There’s so much more fun in a place filled with color,
Where all are free to enjoy one another.

THE END, or maybe just the beginning of many more adventures…

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Commonality in Humanity

Perception is blinding, it's based on the past
Resistance is fighting, the present in shift 
We are...
Finding commonality in humanity
and every living thing
There's meaning and opportunity
to open and up and see
with new understanding

Expanding, creating, we're serving the whole
Still working and playing in a changing world
We are...
Finding commonality in humanity
and every living thing
There's meaning and opportunity
to open and up and see
with new understanding

Thankful in blessings
Hopeful in healing
Praying, revealing
Giving, receiving

Finding commonality in humanity
and every living thing
There's meaning and opportunity
to open and up and see
with new understanding

- shawna ray, today 11/3/13