As a key part of our library’s anti-racism journey, our community is invited to join Oak Park’s first Anti-Racism Resource Challenge—beginning February 1 (kicking off with a focus on history during Black History Month) and continuing with three more themes to last all year long.
We’ll share intentional learning experiences, using specially selected books, media, articles, websites, and more—all materials selected from our two comprehensive anti-racism resource guides: Anti-Racism: A Starter’s Guide and Countering Anti-Black Sentiments. All adults and high schoolers are invited to participate—no Oak Park library card required.
Why is the library offering this Challenge?
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 Andy Goelzer, 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 this self-guided Challenge work?
Get started by registering in Beanstack, and track all your progress online. You choose which resources to read, listen to, watch, or do in each of the year’s four themes. Along the way, we all will have opportunities to participate in conversations and take action steps to apply what we’re learning.
What are the year’s four themes?
Recognizing the complexity of our anti-racism journey, we believe following four sequential themes will help us each know where to start, setting a strong foundation as we navigate our learning. These themes also help capture the many different facets of our journey, moving us through learning around white supremacy to Black joy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FAQs: How do I get started? Who can participate? What is Beanstack?
How do I participate in the Challenge? Register in Beanstack using a web browser. Then get the Beanstack Tracker app (available on iOS and Android) to track your progress. This brief video tutorial (purple image above) guides you through the Beanstack registration process, step by step. Questions? Please email our team at Anti-Racism_Resource_Team_gr@oppl.org and we will be happy to help!
When can I join? This is a self-guided challenge. To get the most out of the experience and take advantage of related library programming, we encourage you to begin with Theme 1 but you can start at any time. Click on the “Track your progress in Beanstack” button above.
Is the Challenge designed for kids? The Anti-Racism Resource Challenge is best for high schoolers through adults.
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.