Information Agitation

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Assata Shakur American Hero and Revolutionary

Innovation is so much more than technology! True innovation will only come when we break the incestuous cycle of white supremacist knowledge production. We need new voices and those voices are standing right here. Real innovation will come when people who created Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rock and Roll--when the people who created flavor in American cuisine and who pretty much generate American culture throughout the continent are involved in information production and knowledge creation. Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other people of color will create a groundswell like never before once they are allowed to fully function within the academy. We will change education's structures, its techniques, its goals, its meaning. We are the harbingers of change and we are here now.

Education is Stale

Education is stale, the ideas are backward and the time for change is now. New blood, new ideas and finally--some progress in society--not just progress in making tools. Western people are the best tool makers, but have little to no idea about how to live with one another and how to create good human relations--which lead to real security. Not the false security that guns everywhere provide, but the real security of knowing that your neighbor’s fate and experience directly relate to your own.

The truth is that Education needs us! We bring flavor, new insights, conceptual relationships that white people don’t even know exist--we bring progress. The academy needs to aggressively recruit people who have backgrounds from ‘marginalized’ communities and then allow these scholars to create radical change within our academic institutions. This change is not something we are asking for--this change is something we bring and are announcing. The backlash is on and we stand ready and strong--stronger than we have ever been. We are at war--it is a cultural war. We are bound to win, we must win--”we have a duty to win.”

Ideas to speed up change:

  • Create an action research center at your school that focuses on anti-oppression integration in education.

  • Block hire a BIPOC cohort into your school or organization.

  • Create support systems for BIPOC and other oppressed groups.

  • Create support systems for antiracist activators and activists at your school--protect them and promote them!

  • Create an EDI/Antiracist Handbook for your department--you have the expertise. Research, learn, share and promote antiracist and anti oppression curriculum, pedagogies and systems.

  • Use antiracism as a model for building other anti-oppression tactics for the liberation of all oppressed groups.

  • Create and sustain affinity spaces for oppressed groups at your organization.

  • Create partnerships with schools and other vocational training organizations to form a pipeline of BIPOC employment recruits.

  • Empower BIPOC leaders to lead.

Until we have a system that has been created with BIPOC and other oppressed groups involved, we will never have equity, inclusion, diversity nor anti-oppression as part of our organizations. We need NEW systems that have been co-created by BIPOC and that are inclusive and are not oppressive. What are you doing today to create this needed change? This will necessitate the destruction of old structures. There are many racists who are deeply invested in these shitstems--they must be defeated and these racist structures destroyed. We will replace them with inclusive systems and structures that will create real progress for society.

Librarians with Spines Editor Yago Cura and Designer Autumn Anglin gave a session at the Urban Librarians conference last Friday.

Our session was voted one of the top two sessions of the conference!

Catch us wherever you can!

Here is the session description:

Panel consists of co-editors and artist/designer for the Librarians With Spines Series of books. It will be a panel discussion of how to create an alternative narrative books, media and a movement with little to no resources. Topics include: How to Lead from Anywhere, You can do it too, Why publish alternative narratives? What does it take to be an antiracist librarian who works to showcase marginalized voices?

Max Macias was awarded the OLA EDI Anti-Racism Recognition Award for 2021

[Email from the Oregon Library Association Awards Chair. Big congratulations and shout out to Marci Ramiro-Jenkins!] Hello Oregon Library Community! As chair of the Oregon Library Association's Awards Committee, I am delighted to widely announce the recipients of the following awardswhich were announced at the OLA Conference on Friday, April 23. Presidents’ Award (conferred by President Kate Lasky and Past-President Elaine Hirsch): Marci Ramiro-Jenkins Oregon Library Employee of the year: Lauren Calbreath Oregon Library Supporter of the year: Barbara Wright EDI Achievement Award (Inaugural award!): Max Macias Oregon Librarian of the year: Librarians and Staff of the State Library of Oregon Children Services Division's Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award: Tehlor Kay Mejia Public Library Division's Pearl Award: Lanel Jackson Congratulations on this well deserved recognition! OLA Awards Committee: Elsa Loftis, Portland State University, Chair Leah Griffith, Newberg Public Library, Retired, Past-Chair Esther Moberg, Seaside Public Library Sonja Somerville, Salem Public Library Karen Muller, Hillsboro Public Library Susan Stone, Portland Public Schools Emily O’Neal, Deschutes Public Library