ABOUT READING IS RESISTANCE

MISSION & HISTORY

PROJECTS
& RESOURCES

Reading Is Resistance is a small, local, grassroots organization started by North Portland educators and parents Farnell Newton and Zapoura Newton-Calvert in 2016. This project, inspired by the national Teaching for Change Social Justice Books Project, is rooted in a deep love for teaching, curiosity about how to learn together as a multi-racial family, and commitment to anti-racist parenting and education.  

Our mission is to create opportunities for Portland parents and teachers to start or expand diverse, inclusive home or classroom libraries & reading experiences for youth and children and for those libraries to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity in our community.

  • Promote reading as an act of resistance against white supremacist culture

  • Create book collection lists for parents and teachers to start or expand their diverse, inclusive library offerings.

  • Partner with Portland State University students to fund and procure diverse and inclusive books for partner classrooms and Little Free Libraries in Portland.

  • Encourage and start conversations among parenting and teaching folks about decolonizing our bookshelves and minds.

  • Explore the way our imaginations can help us create alternative possibilities for the world we’re in today. 

 

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.

ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS

Zapoura Newton-Calvert
CO-FOUNDER

 

Zapoura Newton-Calvert has been teaching writing and community-based learning courses since 2004 and is humbled to work with community partners and students as her job.  Her teaching is relational, and she works in the community to support advocacy efforts for anti-racist curriculum and racial equity in schools.  She's also a mom to two kids and loves to garden, paint, and read YA fiction.  She is a cis-gender woman and was raised as white, experiencing the world with white over-privilege, and she acknowledges that positionality has very real repercussions and impacts in her classroom, parenting, and community work.  It is her belief that it's important to the integrity of her core self and work to be an explicitly anti-racist educator and parent.

 

As part of her family research over the past four years, Zapoura found out that her great-grandmother attended the Morris Indian Industrial School, a boarding school Native American children in the area were forced to attend after being separated from their families.  Although her family has always recognized some connection to indigenous roots, her mother did not inherit cultural traditions or histories, and, thus,  was unable to pass down this part of their identity, as family members began to identify as white as soon as they moved from Minnesota to Oregon around 1910.  Zapoura is committed to honoring her indigenous ancestry and her Ojibwe roots with ancestral lineage back to Red River, Manitoba.  Identity is complex, and it is something she continues to explore with curiosity and care.  This piece of her puzzle is important to her study of racial inequity in the education system as the history of boarding school or residential schools for Native American youth is part of our country's history of genocide, cultural erasure, and school as a tool for assimilation.

Farnell Newton

CO-FOUNDER

Farnell Newton was born in Miami, Florida, and moved to Philadelphia in 1992, where he attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. While in Philadelphia, Newton also studied with his uncles, saxophonist/arranger Conny Murray and Sunny Murray, one of the early avant garde's most inventive and influential drummers. 

Newton graduated from the Denver School of the Arts after moving to Denver in 1994 and then moved to Ohio to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At Oberlin, Newton studied music performance with an emphasis in jazz and was mentored by Wendell Logan and trumpeter Kenny Davis. Newton performed with Aretha Franklin, James Moody, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Hugh Ragin while at Oberlin.

After graduating from Oberlin, Newton moved to Portland, Oregon, where he performed regularly with drummer Mel Brown, percussionist Bobby Torres, Akbar Depriest, and many others. He earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Performance from Portland State University in 2008. 

After completing his graduate work, Newton toured extensively with three time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott and with the Legendary Rhinestone Rockstar Bassist “Bootsy” Collins. 

When he is not spending time with his family, leading his funk band (The Othership Connection), or hosting his own jazz radio show at KMHD 89.1fm, he is touring & recording.  Over the years Farnell has performed with Jarrod Lawson, Stevie Wonder, Skerik, Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Karl Denson, Galactic, Nigel Hall, Mike Phillips, and the Portland Cello Project.  Newton also created a jazz social media group called Jam of the Week in 2013 which now features over 70,000 members worldwide.

ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS

About:
PSU Senior, White, LGBTQ+

PSU Senior, First Generation Latina 

Studying: 
Mathematics

Next Steps: 
Graduating Fall 2020!

About: PSU Senior, First Generation Latina

Studying: 
Social Science

Next Steps: Masters in Education Fall 2020 Bilingual Teacher Pathway

About: Always learning and listening. Persian. Male.

Latina 

Studying: Pre-Clinical Health; Pre-Physical Therapy/Radiation Therapy

Next Steps: 
Finish out my last year at PSU and graduate in 2021.

About:
First Generation, immigrant, Latina

Studying: 
Social Work

Next Steps: 
Graduate in 2021, work with immigrant families.

Mason

EDITOR

Maria

CONTENT TESTER

Babak

CONTENT CREATOR

Paulina

CONTENT CREATOR

About:
Latina. Learner. Passionate. Social justice advocate

Studying: 
Psychology

Next Steps: 
Grad school for school counseling

About:
White ally. Queer. Passionate about change.

Studying: 
Social Work

Next Steps: Masters in Education Fall 2020 Bilingual Teacher Pathway

About: Father, Mentor, Promoter of Change

Studying: 
Social Science

Next Steps: 
Grad School for Education, Non-profit work, travel the world with my kids.

About:
Dream chaser, PSU student, happiness
 

Studying: Preclinical health major Bachelor of Science

Next Steps: 
Class of 2020! Onto the next chapter in life to pursue further education

Jenny

CONTENT CREATOR

Brittney

CONTENT CREATOR

Morris

CONTENT TESTER

Eric

CONTENT CREATOR

About:
Future science teacher. Mother.  Social justice activist.

Studying: 
Biology; Teaching

Next Steps: 
Graduate school for teaching

About:
Dream chaser, PSU student, happiness

Studying: Preclinical health major Bachelor of Science

Next Steps: 
Class of 2020! Onto the next chapter in life to pursue further education

About: Mother, Social Scientist, Very enthusiastic about breaking down barriers for equity

Studying: Social Science

Next Steps: Grad school for either Human Development Psychology or Education; Or; Work within the educational system K-12 as a stepping stone for fighting for justice

About:
Mother. Wife. Friend. Advocate for social justice

Studying: 
Social Work

Next Steps: 
Pursuing a career in medical social work.

Nicole

CONTENT TESTER

Gregorio

CONTENT CREATOR

Laura

CONTENT TESTER

Aubrey

CONTENT TESTER

About:
Optimistic, Male, African American, Animal Advocate LGBTQ

Studying: 
Social Science

Next Steps: 
Certification in HR

About:
First Generation Student, Eldest Son, Biracial

Studying: 
Applied Health

Next Steps: 
Grad School at PSU and to hopefully continue work with Reading With Resistance

About:
First Generation Student,
Asian American

Studying: 
Pre-clinical Heath

Next Steps: 
Continue to focus on studying and gaining work experience

About:
Retired Marine, trumpet player, lifelong learner.

Studying: 
Arts and Letters

Next Steps: 
Bachelor’s Degree, graduate of 
Summer 2020. Grad School after!

Mark

CONTENT CREATOR

Kevin

CONTENT TESTER

Jason

CONTENT TESTER

Kimvy

SOCIAL MEDIA

About:
First Generation Student, Seeker of Truth

Studying: 
Mathematics and Pre Med

Next Steps:
Applying to attend medical school in 2021. Studying, learning, and growing in the meantime.

Jade

CONTENT CREATOR

Jessica Nelson

DESIGNER + SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

(She/her)

Jessica is an artist and designer that graduated from Portland State University Spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in Art History and a Minor in Graphic Design. She grew up in Walla Walla, Washington and moved to Portland in 2015.

 

She has a passion for social justice education that grew through the University Studies courses at Portland State University. She looks strives to bring social justice and anti-bias teaching principles to teaching art and art history. The next steps for Jessica, post-graduation, is to move toward teaching studio art, Art History and/or design in K-12 education.

 

Additionally, working with non-profit organizations in the Portland, Oregon area, Jessica hopes to bring art to schools that don’t have the funds for art education.

SUBSCRIBE 
Be the first to receive updates and resources
  • Facebook logo
  • Instagram logo

CALL US

971-270-4962

PORTLAND, OREGON

© 2020 by READING IS RESISTANCE.