Reading Is Resistance LLC is a community-based organization co-founded by North Portland educators and parents Farnell Newton and Zapoura Newton-Calvert in 2016. 

Our mission is to support grown ups in starting or expanding liberatory libraries and reading experiences for young readers and for those libraries/reading experiences to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial justice and collective liberation in our community.

Our work includes the following:

  • Promoting reading as an act of resistance against white supremacy and other supremacy systems

  • Creating reading for educators, caregivers, and other grown ups who work with youth to start or expand their anti-racist, abolitionist, and decolonized libraries.

  • Partnering with Portland State University students as part of our CoLAB community work in order to support local and national anti-racist literacy organizations and to write, edit, and test anti-racist/anti-bias Reading Guides.

  • Encouraging and starting conversations among parenting and teaching folks about decolonizing our bookshelves and minds.

  • Facilitating workshops for grown ups to read, reflect, and grow their anti-oppressive and imaginative capacities.


Critical Book Reviews for the Social Justice Book Project
(a national project of Teaching for Change)


Using the “See What We See” critical review technique, which focuses on equity in books for children and youth, Reading Is Resistance volunteers support the Social Justice Book Project in creating a robust collection of critically reviewed diverse/inclusive books, which serve as resources for teachers across the country.


Curated Book Lists for Teachers and Parents

Using an equity lens and anti-racist guidelines provided through the Social Justice Books Project, volunteers create, provide feedback on, and revise curated book lists that are shared with local educators and parents.  

Book Procurement/Fundraising

When teachers ask for our help in supporting the creation of more diverse/inclusive classroom libraries, we creatively work together to procure the books their students need.