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Evolving in Everyday Advocacy

by Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Hochstetler

If you’re an educator, you are living the reality of historic challenges to teaching and learning that threaten schools, curricula, teachers, and students. In times like these, it can be easy to lose hope. And yet, despite what we are witnessing, we still believe change is possible. Our goal as stewards of Everyday Advocacy is to offer ways to make sure your voice is heard to create a different narrative about education. As Mariame Kaba writes, “hope is a discipline.” What we aim to offer is hope in concrete form through strategies that support action in literacy learning. To further this goal, we’ve made some changes to the Everyday Advocacy site to increase outreach.

We’re pleased to announce that the team is expanding: Joining Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Hochstetler (co-editors of the website and leaders of EA seminars) in this work are Jennifer Buehler (author of Teaching Reading with YA Literature: Complex Texts, Complex Lives and long-time advocate for YA literature) and Steve Zemelman (education activist for many years and co-author, with Tonya Perry and Katy Smith, of Teaching for Racial Equity: Becoming Interrupters).

We’ve updated the site with new resources. From carefully developed steps for resisting book banning and censorship to learning about other educators and organizations with shared commitments to advocacy, our new content continues to support you in your journey as an everyday advocate:

  • Dive into the Opposing Bans page and try some of the organizing strategies we offer for being proactive (before an issue arises), for being strategic (when you’re in the midst of an issue), and for moving forward (once restrictions are enacted).

  • Learn from some wonderful teacher advocates through short Teacher Chat interview videos with the EA team: Penny Kittle’s thoughts for pursuing “small a” advocacy in your own classrooms is available now. Later this month, Donalyn Miller shares her thoughts on how teachers can raise our voices to push for change.

  • Consult our new Opposing Bans Resources page of organizations and individuals who can offer support in preparing for and responding to book challenges. Included in this page are stories of success that demonstrate how pushing for change can work! (Let us know if you have suggestions for additions to the growing list.)

We’re launching a free interactive webinar on Everyday Advocacy and Book Banning sponsored by the National Writing Project. This session will feature YA authors and will be facilitated by Jennifer Buehler and Cathy Fleischer with support from Sarah Hochstetler. Watch this site for more details.

Finally, we always welcome your voices. Think about offering your experiences for publication on Teacher Stories, or invite us into advocacy-oriented Teacher Chats for mutual learning. Thank you for your commitment to becoming an everyday advocate as we create change in ways that are smart, safe, savvy, and sustainable.

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