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Radically Imagine the New Year: Some Reflections & Exercises for Beginning 2021

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

Have you ever had the experience in your learning where the pieces of the puzzle start to connect in deeper ways? As I do the work of curating resources for Read for Justice on radical imagination, that is what is happening for me.

As part of what I share out in the coming months, you will see some of these authors and topics intersect and intertwine:

  • Our Read for Justice Winter book lists

  • Visionary/speculative fiction

  • Science fiction as future creation

  • Octavia Butler (everything she's written)

  • adrienne maree brown on emergent strategy

  • Walidah Imarisha on visionary fiction

  • Grace Dillon on Indigenous Futurism

  • Sayantani Disgupta on the transformative power of children's literature

  • Seed libraries and book libraries

  • How stories can be medicine (Lisa Boivin)

  • Zetta Elliott on self-publishing and time travel as liberation

It's exciting stuff -- it's dreamy and it's powerful. It's what can sustain us as we continue to move forward in solidarity toward collective liberation.


So, to wind down one year and start another, I thought we could visit this lovely, thought provoking talk by Sayantani Disgupta, a pediatrician and children's author, a healer in multiple ways, as she talks about the way kid's books (especially those that nurture our imaginations) can change the world. Enjoy.

I'm also sharing with you a document titled New Year's Exercises for Radical Imagination, containing two different exercises that I use with my students at the end of each teaching term together. Exercise A is an exercise in writing a philosophy statement and creating an action plan; Exercise B is a more abstract mindfulness exercise of spell casting from adrienne maree brown. If you haven't read brown's book Emergent Strategy, I highly recommend it. It's one of my most loved and most worn books.

I offer these exercises out because I like to go through brown's spell casting exercise at the beginning of each new year as part of my contemplation and imagining forward. I hope that one of these exercises will resonate with you in some way. I believe that both can be used with and/or altered for younger participants as well if you want to do a variation with family members or students. And if you're so inspired, share your reflections back to me via email to I'd love to compile some of our participant reflections and to share them back out if there's interest.

Happy new year to you all and take good care,

Zapoura and the Reading Is Resistance Team

P.S. I was recently so inspired by the beautiful graphics from Chiara Acupuncture. You might find them inspiring, too. Purchase prints, stickers, and more at their store: "All proceeds from sales are used to provide sliding scale, affordable acupuncture treatments to BIPOC, immigrant, trans and queer folks."


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