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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Why Do Diverse Books Matter?

Turquoise LeJeune Parker is the Media Specialist at Durham’s Lakewood Elementary School, but her self-given title is Racial and Social Justice teacher.

Turquoise has worked in Durham Public Schools for five years, previously teaching at Glenn Elementary and Eastway Elementary. Before that, Turquoise taught at Estes Hills Elementary. She is the Vice President of the Durham Association of Educators and National Education Association Director Elect of the North Carolina Association of Educators. She is a proud alumna of the prestigious North Carolina Central University and a passionate advocate for her students, whom she refers to as “Mrs. Parker’s Professors.” She is also deeply committed to ensuring all her students have access to racially diverse and inclusive books so that they can see themselves and each other in the stories they read, dream big about their own potential, and see their peers’ humanity as more than worth fighting for.

We invited Turquoise to share more about her commitment to our shared value of promoting books that are “mirrors and windows” to their readers. Consider yourselves invited to school for your first lesson as one of Mrs. Parker’s Professors…

Want to connect with Turquoise to talk more about what you just learned in her “classroom”? You can reach her by email at or find her on social media!


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