top of page



Reading Is Resistance is a Portland-based, home-grown organization started by educators and parents Farnell Newton and Zapoura Newton-Calvert in 2016. This project is rooted in a deep love for teaching, a vision toward collective liberation, our practices learning together as a multi-racial family, and commitment to anti-racist, abolitionist, and decolonizing parenting and education.  

Our goals are three-fold:


1. To support the efforts of grown ups (often, care givers and teaching folx) to start or expand liberatory, anti-racist home or classroom libraries & reading experiences for young readers.


2. For the above mentioned libraries and reading experiences to seed and grow deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial justice in our community.

3. To explore the ways children's literature can support grown ups in recognizing and replacing and/or complicating learned dominant narratives from K12 school and and and learned gaps in knowledge and filling gaps in foundational social justice and identity learning that may not have been offered to us or cultivated in us as children.

Our primary offerings and engagements are as follows:

  • Community CoLAB partnership with community partner Portland State University to teach anti-racist/anti-bias Reading Guide development with students in the Social Justice for K12 Education and Anti-Bias Education Capstone courses.

  • Create in-depth Reading Guide lesson plans (using the Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards as one anchor) that support both children and teachers/care givers in reading through a social justice lens and building capacity for anti-oppression identity work, conversation, and action during experiences with children's literature.

  • Collaborate with local and national organization to support social justice literacy efforts for young people.

  • Facilitate workshops and build self-paced course offerings around our Reading Is Resistance curriculum building, reflection, and reading method.

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

bottom of page