Oak Park’s Anti-Racism Resource Challenge

What is a ‘Resource Challenge’? It’s a series of intentional learning experiences, using specially selected books, media, articles, and websites—all selected from our two larger and comprehensive anti-racism resource guides: Anti-Racism: A Starter’s Guide and Countering Anti-Black Sentiments. Adults and high schoolers are invited to participate—no Oak Park library card is required.

How was it created? As your public library, we are committed to dismantling the systems of oppression that have created, and that fuel, racist conditions. We know we have work to do, both as individuals and as a community organization serving all of Oak Park. Both the Challenge itself and the materials featured in it were curated with intention, passion, and library-wide representation by the library’s Anti-Racism Resources Guide Team. That team includes Barbara Fitzgerald, Beronica Puhr, Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, Jenna Friebel, Juanta Griffin, Kathy Sexton, Leigh Tarullo, Megha Bamola, Nora Sanchez, Rose Barnes, Tatiana Swancy, and Vann Harris.

How does it work? First, register in Beanstack, then track all your progress online. This is a self-guided reading program, so you choose which resources to read, listen to, watch, or do in each theme.

Why have themes?

Recognizing the complexity of any anti-racism journey, we believe using sequential themes may help us each know where to start, setting a strong foundation as we navigate our learning.

Anti-Racism Resource Challenge Collage: History

Theme 1: How We Got Here—Historical Context, Structural Racism, White Supremacy

We must learn the true history and extent of racism in our country before we can understand how we got here and be capable of creating lasting change.

Anti-Racism Resource Challenge Collage: Black Lives Matter

Theme 2: Policing, Mass Incarceration, Protests, Black Lives Matter

We affirm state-sanctioned violence against Black communities must end, and that racial disparities and biases heavily impact our criminal justice system.

Anti-Racism Resource Challenge Collage: Here & Now

Theme 3: Contemporary Black Life in America

We appreciate the humanity of Black lives, the contributions of Black communities, and the richness of Black experiences.

Anti-Racism Resource Challenge Collage: Intersectionality

Theme 4: Intersecting Identities

We commit to an inclusive movement, recognizing the value of all Black lives, and striving to fight oppression in all of its forms.

More frequently asked questions

Beanstack Tracker logo

What is Beanstack? Beanstack is an easy-to-use online platform where you can track your reading and activities. Download the Beanstack Tracker app—available for iOS and Android—to your mobile device for convenient registration and logging. Beanstack features include:

  • Barcode scanner: Scan barcodes to quickly add titles to your log.
  • Reading session timer: Record reading sessions to keep track of what you’re reading.
  • Reading stats: View totals and averages of your time spent reading and titles read.
  • Family accounts: Manage each member of your family’s reading log and view their stats.

I’ve already used Beanstack. Do I need a new account? If you created an account in Beanstack for a previous reading program, there’s no need to register again. Just log into your account and join the new Challenge.

Where should I start? To get the most out of this self-guided experience, we encourage you to begin with Theme 1. Beanstack closes December 31 so be sure to log all your reads beforehand.

Is the challenge designed for kids? The Anti-Racism Resource Challenge is best for high schoolers through adults.

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