August is here. It is time to think of the fights that will be coming up when legislatures come back into session. Schools will resume soon, minus hundreds of classes in Ontario and with cuts in provinces across Canada. Every time I watch the news, I know I need to educate our kids and keep them from becoming small-minded. For me, it is also a time to learn more about how to be more effective as I try to help amplify the work of people on social media. Therefore, here are my summer reading suggestions. If you can, save a tree and get an ebook or even better use the public library to find these books. As always, please send me your lists.
According to poll after poll, climate change is the most important issue of our time. Piecemeal and regressive policies have meant that climate change is progressing at an alarming rate. There are three books which are currently helping reshape the conversation and push for bolder action. Read them and get involved in local actions like the global climate strike from September 20 to 27.
- Greta Thunberg captured our attention with her student strike and by demanding more. Penguin Books has just published a compilation of her speeches.
- If you want practical tools, Penguin Books has also published the Extinction Rebellion's This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook.
- When Naomi Klein wrote This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate Change, she fuelled the Leap Manifesto and her book sparked a movement. Read it and find out about thischangeseverything.org and, if you want a synopsis, watch one of her great interviews here.
Public schools and public school teachers across Canada are in the crosshairs of conservatives. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has already attacked schools and unions but Alberta, Saskatchewan and most of the provinces with conservative governments are facing cuts and attacks. A timely book, Red State Revolt: The Teachers' Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics, takes a detailed look at how the recent round of teachers' strikes were organized and were successful in the United States.
If you have time, it is also important to learn how teachers' strikes in the past were manipulated to push for privatization and a charter school agenda. Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order provides an important cautionary tale.
For the summer, I found this list of 31 children's books to support conversations of race, racism and resistance, a very useful guide when finding books for the kids in my life. These however are American books. When I was looking for Canadian books I found the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. They have some great Canadian books about progressive values and offer a series of programs and publications.
So many of us work to amplify our work through social media. But how do we do it more effectively? I have been making my way through Mining the Social Web and found it very useful to organize my contacts (despite the fact that Facebook has become a bit harder to mine). If you are far more tech savvy than I am, here is a list of free books on ethical hacking, to step up your online activism.
From our activist sheroes
No list would be complete if I did not mention the memoirs that longtime rabble.ca contributors and longtime activists Cathy Crowe and Libby Davies just published. Please read A Knapsack Full of Dreams and Outside In: A Political Memoir and join the conversations about the books on babble.
Photo: Born 1945/Flickr
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