A Call to My Author and Illustrator Friends

If you are safely able to do so, I would like to ask that each of us in the writing and/or illustrating field attend an upcoming School Board meeting in our own local area some time this late summer or fall, and then report out in some way (by a post, a sketch, a poem, an essay, anything goes) to some portion of our networks (whether it’s just a Facebook post to your friends, or an article for a national publication, or anything in between). You could share what you observed, learned, reflected on, and/or said. You could share what your thoughts are about the climate for student learning in your area. You could share what you’re doing to address the situation.

While some communities are expanding and enriching their educational offerings, dozens of states and many local school boards are currently under pressure to put new and chilling restrictions on curriculum and teaching. The burden of speaking up against those restrictions has fallen primarily on teachers and school administrators, who already have their hands full with the challenges of teaching during a pandemic.

As practitioners in an education-adjacent field, it’s up to us as authors, illustrators, and other creatives to be active allies in speaking up for students, teachers, inclusivity, and access.

Whether we’re parents or not, the education of students is everyone’s responsibility, and is in the collective interest of the future of us all. The School Board meetings in your community need you!

Words and art explore and illuminate the exterior and the interior world; build knowledge and understanding; and connect us in powerful and transformative ways.  Let’s put those superpowers to work.

Some links:

  1. If you have a write-up or sketch-up of your experience and you’d be willing to share, let me know and I will link to it here.
    • Empty bullet point awaiting your contribution!!
  2. I’ve compiled some links and info that might be helpful to you about the topic of curriculum and teaching bans, over on this page.
  3. I also have a work-in-progress diversity page available here.

I encourage you to spread the challenge to your other author and illustrator friends.