'We all belong': Daughter's experience with bullying inspires author to write book focused on inclusion

A Kitchener author was inspired to put pen to paper following her daughter's experience with bullying.

"She was being told by some friends that they did not like her hair and she wasn't allowed to play with them," author Marswa Blossom Yarmeto said.

Her children's book, called "Black, Brown or White: We All Feel," focuses on diversity and inclusion.

"People used to be not nice to me at school," her daughter Angel Solanke said. "They tell me they don't like my hair and my skin, so mommy wrote the book."

Yarmeto said she wants her publication to educate and uplift.

"It's about time we get the message out about diversity, inclusion, anti-bullying, anti-racism," she said.

The book includes lessons on kindness and patience.

"The world was made for us all," Yarmeto said. "The world was made diverse because we all belong."

Yarmeto works in education and said she read the book to her students.

"I love kids," she said. "They are so vulnerable and they are the future leaders and it helps to make our world a better place."

Yarmeto hopes the lessons in the storybook will inspire young ones to reflect on their own actions.

"Our words can hurt, can cause a lasting impact," she said. "Once something is said, you can't take it back."

The Kitchener Public Library has added the book to the children's collection as part of continued work to select books promoting cultural understanding.