Table of contents for Overcoming prejudice / Tracey Baptiste.

Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog.

Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.

Introduction by Madonna M. Murphy, Ph.D., professor of education at University of 
St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, and Sharon L. Banas, former character education coordinator 
and middle school social studies teacher, Sweet Home School District, Amherst and 
Tonawanda, New York
1 What Is Prejudice?
2 Enemies and Allies
3 Playing to Win
4 Separate Education
5 Women and Politics
6 Coming to America
7 Image Is Everything
8 Building Tolerance
Further Reading
Photo Credits
About the Author and Consultants
On February 14, 2008, as these books were being edited, a shooting occurred at Northern 
Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois. A former NIU graduate student, dressed in 
black and armed with a shotgun and two handguns, opened fire from the stage of a 
lecture hall. The shooter killed five students and injured 16 others before committing 
suicide. What could have led someone to do this? Could it have been prevented?
When the shooting started, student Dan Parmenter and his girlfriend, Lauren 
Debrauwere, who was sitting next to him, dropped to the floor between the rows of seats. 
Dan covered Lauren with his body, held her hand, and began praying. The shield of 
Dan's body saved Lauren life, but Dan was fatally wounded. In that hall, on February 14, 
2008¿Valentine's Day¿one person's deed was horrific and filled with hate; another's 
was heroic and loving.
The purpose of this series of books is to help prevent the occurrence of this kind 
of violence by offering readers the character education and social and emotional skills 
they will need to control their emotions and make good moral choices. This series will 
include books on topics that include coping with bullying, conflicts, peer pressure, 
prejudice, anger and frustration, and numerous responsibilities, as well as learning how to 
handle teamwork and respect for others, be fair and honest, and bea good leader and 
	In his 1992 book, Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong,1 William Kilpatrick 
coined the term "moral illiteracy" and dedicated a whole chapter to it. Today, as he points 
out, people often do not recognize when they are in a situation that calls for a moral choice, 
and they are not able to define what is right and what is wrong in that situation. The 
California-based Josephson Institute of Ethics agrees with these concerns. The institute 
states that we have a "character deficit" in our society today and points out that 
increasing numbers of young people across the United States¿from well-to-do as well as 
disadvantaged backgrounds¿demonstrate reckless disregard for fundamental standards 
of ethical conduct.
	According to the 2006 Josephson Institute Report Card on the Ethics of American 
Youth, our children are at risk. This report sets forth the results of a biannual written 
survey completed in 2006 by more than 36,000 high schools students across the country. 
The compilers of the report found that 82 percent of the students surveyed admitted that 
they had lied to a parent about something significant within the previous year. Sixty 
percent admitted to having cheated during a test at school, and 28 percent admitted to 
having stolen something from a store.2 (Various books in this series will tell of other 
findings in this report.) Clearly, helping young people to develop character is a need of 
national importance.
The United States Congress agrees. In 1994, in the joint resolution that 
established National Character Counts Week, Congress declared that "the character of a 
nation is only as strong as the character of its individual citizens." The resolution also 
stated that "people do not automatically develop good character and, therefore, 
conscientious efforts must be made by youth-influencing institutions . . . to help young 
people develop the essential traits and characteristics that comprise good character."3
Many stories can be told of people who have defended our nation with character. 
One of the editors of this series knew one such young man named Jason Dunham. On 
April 24, 2004, Corporal Jason L. Dunham was serving with the United States Marines in 
Iraq. As Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission, the men 
heard sounds of rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. Corporal Dunham led a 
team of men toward that fire to assist their battalion commander's ambushed convoy. An 
insurgent leaped out at Corporal Dunham, and he saw the man release a grenade. 
Corporal Dunham alerted his team and immediately covered the grenade with his helmet 
and his body. He lost his own life, but he saved the lives of others on his team.
In January 2007, the Dunham family traveled to Washington, D.C., where 
President George W. Bush presented them with Corporal Dunham's posthumously 
awarded Congressional Medal of Honor. In the words of the Medal of Honor citation, 
"By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, 
Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country."4
Thomas Lickona, the author of several books including Educating for Character 
and Character Matters, explains that the premise of character education is that there are 
objectively good human qualities¿virtues¿that are enduring moral truths. Courage, 
fortitude, integrity, caring, citizenship, and trustworthiness are just a few examples. These 
moral truths transcend religious, cultural, and social differences and help us to distinguish 
right from wrong. They are rooted in our human nature. They tell us how we should act 
with other human beings to promote human dignity and build a well-functioning and civil 
society¿a society in which everyone lives by the golden rule.5
To develop his or her character, a person must understand core virtues, care about 
them, and act upon them. This series of books aims to help young readers want to become 
people of character. The books will help young people understand such core ethical 
values as fairness, honesty, responsibility, respect, tolerance of others, fortitude, self-
discipline, teamwork, and leadership. By offering examples of people today and notable 
figures in history who live and have lived these virtues, these books will inspire young 
readers to develop these traits in themselves.
Finally, through these books, young readers will see that if they act on these moral 
truths, they will make good choices. They will be able to deal with frustration and anger, 
manage conflict resolution, overcome prejudice, handle peer pressure, and deal with 
bullying. The result, one hopes, will be middle schools, high schools, and neighborhoods 
in which young people care about one another and work with their classmates and 
neighbors to develop team spirit.
Character development is a lifelong task but an exciting challenge. The need for it 
has been with us since the beginning of civilization. As the ancient Greek philosopher 
Aristotle explained, in his Nicomachean Ethics:
The virtues we get by first exercising them . . . so too we become just by doing 
just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. . . . Hence 
also it is no easy task to be good . . . to do this to the right person, to the right 
extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not 
easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble. . . . It makes no 
small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our 
very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference.6
This development of one's character is truly The Ultimate Gift that we hope to 
give to our young people. In the movie version of Jim Stovall's book of the same name, a 
privileged young man receives a most unexpected inheritance from his grandfather. 
Instead of the sizeable inheritance of cash that he expects, the young man receives 12 
tasks¿or "gifts"¿designed to challenge him on a journey of self-discovery. The gifts 
confront him with character choices that force him to decide how one can be truly happy. 
Is it the possession of money that brings us happiness, or is it what we do with the money 
that we have? Every one of us has been given gifts. Will we keep our gifts to ourselves, 
or will we share them with others?
Being a "person of character" can have multiple meanings. Psychologist Steven 
Pinker asks an interesting question in a January 13, 2008, New York Times Magazine 
article titled "The Moral Instinct": "Which of the following people would you say is the 
most admirable: Mother Teresa, Bill Gates or Norman Borlaug?" Pinker goes on to 
explain that although most people would say that, of course, Mother Teresa is the most 
admirable¿a true person of character who ministered to the poor in Calcutta, was 
awarded the Noble Peace Prize, and was ranked in an American poll as the most admired 
person in the twentieth century¿each of these three is a morally admirable person.
Pinker points out that Bill Gates made billions through his company Microsoft, 
but he also has decided to give away billions of dollars to help alleviate human misery in 
the United States and around the world. His charitable foundation is built on the 
principles that "All lives¿no matter where they are being lived¿have equal value" and 
"To whom much is given, much is expected."
Pinker notes that very few people have heard of Norman Borlaug, an agronomist 
who has spent his life developing high-yielding varieties of crops for third world 
countries. He is known as the "Father of the Green Revolution" because he used 
agricultural science to reduce world hunger and, by doing so, saved more than a billion 
lives. Borlaug is one of only five people in history to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, 
the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He has devoted 
his long professional life and his scientific expertise to making the world a better place.
All of these people¿although very different, from different countries, and with 
different gifts¿are people of character. They are, says Pinker, people with "a sixth sense, 
the moral sense." It is the sense of trying to do good in whatever situation one finds 
The authors and editors of the series Character Education hope that these books 
will help young readers discover their gifts and develop them, guided by a moral 
compass. "Do good and avoid evil." "Become all that you can be¿a person of 
character." The books in this series teach these things and more. These books will 
correlate well with national social studies standards of learning. They will help teachers 
meet state standards for teaching social and emotional skills, as well as state guidelines 
for teaching ethics and character education.
Madonna M. Murphy, Ph.D.
Author of Character Education in America's Blue Ribbon Schools and professor of 
education, University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois
Sharon L. Banas, M.Ed.
Author of Caring Messages for the School Year and former character education 
coordinator and middle school social studies teacher, Sweet Home School District, 
Amherst and Tonawanda, New York
1.	Kilpatrick, William. 1992. Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong. New York: 
Simon and Schuster, Chapter 6.
2.	Josephson Institute. "2006 Josephson Institute Report Card on the Ethics of 
American Youth: Part One ¿ Integrity." Available online at:
3.	House Joint Resolution 366. May 11, 1994 103rd Congress. 2d Session. 
4.	U.S. Army Center of Military History. The Medal of Honor. Available online at: 
5.	Lickona, Thomas. 1991. Educating for Character: Teaching Respect and 
Responsibility in the Schools. New York: Bantam 
Lickona, Thomas. 2004. Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop 
Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues. New York: Simon and 
Schuster Touchstone Books.
6.	McKeon, Richard, editor. "Nicomachean Ethics." Basic Works of Aristotle. 1941. 
Chicago: Random House. Clarendon Press. Public Domain.
7.	Pinker, Steven. "The Moral Instinct," The New York Times, January 13, 2008. 
Available online at

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:

Prejudices -- Prevention -- Juvenile literature.
Toleration -- Juvenile literature.