We Are the Change

Introduction by Harry Belafonte

Sixteen Acclaimed and Award-Winning Children's Book Artists Illustrate Quotes from Civil Rights Leaders

“Explore this illustrious book highlighting some of the most influential figures in the historical fight for equality and justice.” Harry Belafonte, from the introduction

In honor the American Civil Liberties Union’s work to guard the rights of all Americans under the law, sixteen acclaimed and award-winning children’s book artists created illustrations inspired by quotes from civil rights leaders and activists in We Are the Change.

The quotes are from leaders past and present, and represent the fight for the rights of minorities, women, the disabled, farm workers, political dissidents and others throughout the course of history.

Each in addition to stunning and moving illustrations, each artist reflects on the life and work of the leader and the meaning of the quote they chose.

Latinx illustrator John Parra selected the words of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “If the system is broken, my inclination is to fix it.”


He writes, “Sotomayor’s words remind us that we can accomplish much by reframing our goals of working toward what we believe in, instead of what we are against.”

The stirring introduction by actor and activist Harry Belafonte ties the work of the featured leaders to the ideals of the Constitution, and encourages future leaders to learn from those who have gone before.

Harry Belafonte is a Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist. He has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1986 and is now the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues.

Activists and Illustrators

The words of Maya Angelou illustrated by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls  

The words Gwendolyn Brooks illustrated by Juana Medina  

The words Frederick Douglass illustrated by Lisa Congdon  

The words W. E. B. Du Bois illustrated by Greg Pizzoli  

The words Khalil Gibran illustrated by Innosanto Nagara  

The words Dolores Huerta illustrated by Raúl the Third  

The words Helen Keller illustrated by Alina Chau  

The words Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated by Brian Pinkney  

The words John Lewis illustrated by Dan Santat  

The words Queen Lili'uokalani illustrated by Emily Hughes  

The words Barack Obama  illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal  

The words Eleanor Roosevelt illustrated by Molly Idle  

The words Nina Simone illustrated by Shadra Strickland  

The words Sonia Sotomayor illustrated by John Parra  

The words E. B. White illustrated by Melissa Sweet  

Lara Starr Senior Publicist
We Are the Change
Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders

Introduction by Harry Belafonte
May 2019
Ages 10 and up
48 pages, Chronicle Books
About Chronicle Books Children's Books


Chronicle Books, one of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books.  Recognized as one as the fifty best small companies to work for in the U.S. (and the only independent publisher to receive this award), the company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes much admired illustrated books and gift products in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle, pop culture, and acclaimed children’s titles.  Chronicle Books' objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that is instantly recognizable for its spirit and creativity. Our collaborations spark the passions of adults and children worldwide, encouraging them to explore, connect, and see things differently. For more information about Chronicle Books visit www.chroniclebooks.com

Chronicle Books Children's Books
Lara Starr, Senior Publicist