In this new series, examine hard topics facing our society—from gun violence to immigration. Learn how problems developed and hear from underrepresented persons involved in these struggles. Reflection questions help readers challenge their perspectives, while an activism toolkit and a Read Woke reading list empower readers to make a difference.
Read Woke™ Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. Inspired by a belief that knowledge is power, Read Woke Books seek to challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, disrupt the status quo, and share perspectives from underrepresented or oppressed groups.
Issues in Action includes:
- Gun Violence and the Fight for Public Safety: Among similar countries, the United States has a unique problem with gun violence. Gun-related deaths and injuries happen at high rates every year. Debates over how to reduce gun violence wrestle with defining Second Amendment rights, different ideas of freedom, and which reforms to enact. Learn how organizations and governments are working to stop gun violence; which laws, regulations, and technology could effect change; and how young activists are fighting for public safety.
- Immigration, Refugees, and the Fight for a Better Life: Throughout history and into the modern day, people have moved from place to place to flee danger and seek out better lives. But immigrants and refugees often meet harsh realities on their journeys. Learn about immigration and refugee resettlement within the United States and throughout the world. Follow both historical and recent large migrations, understand the challenges of life in a new country, and see how activists fight for immigrants' and refugees' rights.
- Income Inequality and the Fight over Wealth Distribution: In America, the amount of money people earn for doing the same job isn't always equal. The United States only recently made it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job, and the country's history of racism has created big wealth gaps between white and Black people that persist in the twenty-first century. Learn how income inequality originated, why it is a problem, and the ways people are fighting for an equal playing field.
- Mass Incarceration, Black Men, and the Fight for Justice: In the United States, Black men are almost six times more likely to be imprisoned than white men. This disproportionate impact can be traced back to slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the criminalization of Black people into the modern day. With growing awareness about unfair treatment in the justice system, more and more people are calling for change. Read more about the history and causes of mass incarceration and how activists are reforming and rethinking justice.
- The Opioid Epidemic and the Addiction Crisis: The US has seen an alarming rise in the numbers of people addicted to and overdosing on opioid drugs, including oxycodone, codeine, fentanyl, and heroin. Learn about history of the opioid crisis, the science behind addiction, and how people help those in danger.
- Use of Force and the Fight against Police Brutality: In the spring and summer of 2020, several high-profile cases put a renewed spotlight on law enforcement's use of force in the United States, especially against Black people. Activist groups such as Black Lives Matter demanded accountability for police and justice for victims of police violence. Read about the history of police brutality in the US, the role of technology in police accountability, and community movements calling for changes to police training, equipment, and funding.
Learn more at LernerBooks.com and ReadWoke.com.
"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0