Color Your World: Unveiling the Joyful Journey of Our New Coloring Book

by Cheryl Greene

At a time when so many young folks are inundated with hateful and divisive rhetoric, we must find ways to bring joy. As a grandmother, I think about how their books reflect the very best of the world around us — bright colors, uplifting stories, and characters that represent and celebrate the rich diversity of our communities.

But while picture and chapter books are making great strides in inclusivity, some of the other ways that children interact with content are sorely lacking — including in coloring books, which tend to offer guidance on the “right” way to color or do activities. Children’s means of expressing themselves — including in celebrating who they are, how they feel and what they create — should not come with guidelines that limit their potential. And so, the idea for the Welcoming Schools Coloring Book was born.

There are no rules for this coloring book, which was released this month to coincide with Pride. The book invites artists of all ages to color inside and outside the lines and decide what colors and designs bring them joy. The pages of the book are affirming, positive and joyful and designed to spark creativity. I would have loved to have this coloring book when I was young.

The GAZE art installation at Hopscotch.

The pages in the Welcoming Schools coloring book are inspired by an interactive art gallery that encourages visitors to see a future that is full of love and hope. The art installation GAZE, a collaboration between the Human Rights Campaign and Hopscotch, uses rainbow LED lights to illuminate powerful words and images of self-love, pride and acceptance that are etched into a maze of acrylic panels. In partnership with Hopscotch, the art installation images were turned into coloring pages for the Welcoming Schools Coloring Book.

As a mother, I didn’t have the opportunity to see families like mine reflected in books or literature, and certainly not in a coloring book. I would have proudly colored the pages of this coloring book with my young sons. I can’t wait to break out our big box of crayons, filled with all the colors of the rainbow, and color inside and outside the lines with all the young people in our lives.

While coloring, we’ll talk about the messages conveyed on the pages:

You are brave, courageous, worthy, smart, beautiful, kind, artsy, defiant, good, equal.

Born to shine!

It’s great to be you!

And my personal favorite: Always be yourself.

The Welcoming Schools Coloring Book is our latest resource to help all kids be their true, authentic selves, free from bullying. The Welcoming Schools program has been at the forefront for the last 15 years, providing resources and training for educators to ensure they are both competent and confident in creating safe and affirming classrooms for all students. Join me in coloring with joy - get your copy of the Welcoming Schools Coloring Book today!

Get Your Welcoming Schools Coloring Book!

This coloring book was designed to bring joy to all who use it. Be artistic, be creative, be you! 100% of your purchase of our ​HRC Foundation Welcoming Schools Coloring Book goes to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people by increasing understanding and encouraging LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, practices and education.