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Read for Change: Read Woke Challenge

READ FOR CHANGE November 15, 2020 - January 31, 2021: Read Woke Reading Challenge

The Read Woke Challenge was created by Cicely Lewis, a teacher, writer, librarian and Person of Color with a “passion for promoting literacy in nontraditional ways” at the Meadowcreek High School Media Center in Norcross, Ga., where she works. She was recently chosen as School Library Journal’s 2020 School Librarian of the Year.

By taking part in this challenge, participants can choose from hundreds of books that:

  • Challenge a social norm;
  • Give voice to the voiceless;
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised;
  • Seek to challenge the status quo;
  • Have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group.

Lincoln City Libraries encourages individuals, adults, teens, children and families to take part in this challenge. Other groups, such as churches, businesses, book clubs, and service organizations are welcome to join as a group, or individually. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage reading, start conversations, and promote positive change in our community. Won’t you join us?

To get started, sign up on our Beanstack site, lincolnlibraries.beanstack.org. To complete the challenge, read a book from five of the ten categories, and do five activities from this list.

Everyone who registers and completes the challenge will be eligible for prizes such as, t-shirts, gift cards to area businesses, and a Kindle eReader, or a Nintendo Switch.

There are short videos, TED talks, articles, and conversation prompts that take less time than reading a book. To complete the challenge, read, watch, reflect, and talk about at least five of the activities.

This list of offerings is just a beginning. We ask that each participant read, listen to, or watch five of these pieces. There is no way we can include all of the excellent content exploring these many important issues. Feel free to explore other podcasts, videos, articles, or movies on your own.

As part of our Read Woke: Read for Change Challenge we are offering a chance for participants to take part in online book discussions via Zoom. Attendance is limited; preregistration required by emailing library@lincolnlibraries.org. Please mention in the e-mail the date and time of the discussion you wish to attend. 

Saturday, December 5, 10:00 a.m.
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit
Eleven-year-old knuckleball pitcher Vivy Cohen, who is Autistic, becomes pen pals with her favorite Major League baseball player after writing a letter to him as an assignment for her social skills class.

Saturday, December 5, 2:00 p.m.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different.

Saturday, December 19, 10:00 a.m.
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
#NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.

Saturday, January 9, 10:00 a.m.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – or –
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Young Adult Edition) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and became deeply rooted in American society.

Saturday, January 23, 10:00 a.m.
I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir by Malaka Gharib
I Was Their American Dream is a coming-of-age story and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children.


Activities

This list of offerings is just a beginning. We ask that each participant read, listen to, or watch five of these pieces. There was no way we could include all of the excellent content exploring these many important issues. Feel free to explore other podcasts, videos, articles, or movies on your own.

Mostly for children, and for kids and parents to share:

Daniel Tiger Alike and Different (15 mins)
Daniel and Miss Elaina meet Prince Wednesday’s cousin Chrissie, when they come over to play at the castle. As they play “knights”, the children recognize and ask questions about Chrissie and learn that although Chrissie needs a bit of help walking, they are all the same in many ways.

CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism (21 mins)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms takes questions along with CNN’s Van Jones and Erica Hill about how to combat racism, and shares a message with kids about how to make a change.

Here’s a list of nine podcasts for kids that focus on diversity and inclusion
Choose a few episodes to listen to together

Raising a Powerful Girl
A Podcast for Girls AND their Parents. Founder Maria Fuller and some incredible guests on this show take a look at issues girls face today such as mental health, executive functioning, emotional intelligence, leadership, grit and what it takes to be a “Powerful Girl today” and more!

Read the picture book, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. Think, and talk about, how you might welcome a new child to your school or community.

The United Way: “What do I say?” How to talk to kids about homelessness
An empathetic approach to talking to kids about homelessness and poverty goes a long way.

Mostly for Tweens and Teens:

Games for Change
Games for Change curates digital and non-digital games that engage contemporary social issues in a meaningful way.

We Are Dreamers Documentary
This film and performance piece tells the stories of local DACA recipients and advocates for a clean “Dream” Act.

What is Privilege? (4 mins)
A group of young people take part in an exercise to measure their privilege.

“Like” The Black Leaders Movement Facebook Page or Twitter feed to keep up with their activities and events.
Their mission is to promote the development of young black leaders in order to achieve equality and justice for the black community.

Why Kids Need to Learn About Gender and Sexuality (7 mins)
Lindsay Amer is the creator of “Queer Kid Stuff,” an educational video series that breaks down complex ideas around gender and sexuality through songs and metaphors.

Project Lotus
Project Lotus destigmatizes mental health in Asian-American communities by tackling the model minority stereotype through culturally-relevant education for the community and the empowerment of voices.

Mostly for Adults:

Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’ (6 mins)
Why do some of us, despite our best intentions, feel self-conscious when we meet people who are transgender, disabled, or otherwise marginalized by our society? Psychologists call it “intergroup anxiety,” and it’s very common.

You Cannot Divorce Race from Immigration (6 mins)
NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas for a response to a story in The Atlantic, written by David Frum, proposing the U.S. cut legal immigration by half.

Indigenous People React To Indigenous Representation In Film And TV (15 mins)
Conversation with a diverse range of Indigenous people by FBE about media depictions of Indigenous people, Columbus day, and Indigenous identity.

Seeing White radio series (17 mins)
Events of the past few years have turned a challenging spotlight on White people, and Whiteness, in the United States. An introduction to our series exploring what it means to be White. By John Biewen, with special guest Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Guide to Allyship:
Being an ally doesn’t necessarily mean you fully understand what it feels like to be oppressed. It means you’re taking on the struggle as your own.

TED talks to help you understand racism in America
25 talks, from passionate pleas for reform to poetic turns of phrase, these talks take an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminate the way forward.

Online exhibits about black history, racism, and protest
Online offerings from museums across the country.

Reach out to the partners of Together One Lincoln to see how you can volunteer your time

Search under these subject headings for relevant books, movies, and music on Hoopla.
Hoopla categories:
Civil Rights movie night
Depression and Anxiety
Directed by women
Influential Black Americans
LGBTQIA+ Pride month


Frequently Asked Questions

What is this Challenge about?

The Read Woke Challenge was created by Cicely Lewis, a teacher, writer, librarian and Person of Color with a “passion for promoting literacy in nontraditional ways” at the Meadowcreek High School Media Center in Norcross, Ga., where she works. She was recently chosen as School Library Journal’s 2020 School Librarian of the Year.

By taking part in this challenge, participants can choose from hundreds of books that:

  • Challenge a social norm;
  • Give voice to the voiceless;
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised;
  • Seek to challenge the status quo;
  • Have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group.

Our reading challenge software provider, Beanstack, partnered with Cicely Lewis to create this Challenge, and we decided to participate.

Why did the Library choose to participate?

The purpose of this challenge is to encourage reading, start conversations, and promote positive change in our community. Lincoln City Libraries encourages individuals, adults, teens, children and families to take part in this challenge. Other groups, such as churches, businesses, book clubs, and service organizations are welcome to join as a group, or as individuals.

How is it the same and how is it different from other library challenges?

This challenge is similar to the others we’ve done, except instead of minutes, we are requiring one book from 5 of the 10 categories. We are also asking folks to write the title of the book they read. After doing both, they earn the badge for that category of books.

Also, you need to do five of the more than 20 activities. Each activity has a link to an article, video, TED talk, podcast, or activity or other piece related to the 10 topics.

How do I complete the challenge?

You have completed the program after you earn six badges: you have read five books (5 badges) and complete five activities (1 badge). This can all be done in the Beanstack program, or if you are using the booklet, be sure library staff can check that you have completed the challenge. You have to have completed the challenge in Beanstack to be eligible for prizes.

How do I know what to read?

There are four linked webpages in each book category with extensive booklists. This challenge is for children, teens, and adults and participants can read whatever level book they want. If a parent reads five books to their child, that works for both parent and child. If a teen wants to read a youth biography and four teen or adult level books, that works too.

How do tickets work?

Like our last two challenges, each badge earns a ticket you can put towards the prize of their choice. We tried to choose businesses owned and/or run by women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Each ticket includes a $25.00 gift certificate to each of the two businesses. Ticket choices are:

Pepe’s Bistro and FlyDogz Lincoln

The Oven Restaurant and Gaga’s Greenery

Vung Tau Pho Grill and Nothing Bundt Cakes

High Peak Asian Restaurant and Francie & Finch Bookshop

9 South Chargrill and From Nebraska Gift Shop

M&J’s Southern Style Food and A Novel Idea Bookstore

Juju’s Vegan Cajun and Creole Cuisine and The Black Market Clothing Exchange

Billy’s Restaurant and Goldenrod Pastries

Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant and Noonie’s Homemade Fudge

Stur22 Lounge and Threads/Footloose and Fancy

Other Drawing Prizes:

Everyone who completes the Challenge will be eligible for other drawing prizes such as t-shirts, a Kindle e-book reader, and a Nintendo Switch.