Barbara A. Lewis
For #SweetsAndSocialJustice this week, I want to get to the heart of a matter (…see what I did there?) that is meaningful to the work that I do both on and off-line. And that’s resources to help empower youth to get involved in social justice work. My homemade raspberry jam pop-tarts are just covered in a healthy amount of turbinado sugar to make the top crunchy.
This guide is organized into chapters, first giving resources and tips on how to find a cause, and then guidance on whether or not to join a group or start one. From there, various topics such as ‘hunger and homelessness’, ‘education’, and ‘environment and conservation’ give information about how youth activists (called “difference makers” within the text) raise awareness about these issues. There are also “quick tips” boxes with practical advice that isn’t condescending to the reader and some of my favorite were tips on advocacy & protesting. Documenting work so it can be used promotionally, building public support, and seeking the help of a public official (law enforcement is not mentioned) if things at a rally get out of control. There are many forms of protest, and the book lists them; the advice is very accessible for all types of humans, not just ones who want to march and yell (I get it, some days I don’t want to yell).
Something I really like about the book is how under each header topic, there are activists profiled that “keep it local” and “take it global”. I appreciate this; some of us are drawn to global change and some of us focus on community involvement and organizing. There are many right ways to find a place within a movement, we need everyone. There are tangible ideas for both local and global efforts, and they’re feasible for youth to organize and run themselves. Ideas like organizing a book drive or offering to tutor classmates, and there are multiple organizations to become involved with suggested.
This book was kindly sent by Free Spirit Publishing, but all opinions are my own!
Barbara A. Lewis
Barbara A. Lewis is a national award-winning author and educator who teaches kids how to think and solve real problems. Her students at Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, initiated the cleanup of hazardous waste, improved sidewalks, planted thousands of trees, and fought crime. They instigated and pushed through several state laws and an amendment to a national law, garnering ten national awards, including two President’s Environmental Youth Awards, the Arbor Day Award, the Renew America Award, and Pledge and a Promise Environmental Award. They have also been recognized in the Congressional Record three times.
Barbara has been featured in/on many national newspapers, magazines, and news programs, including Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, CBS This Morning, CBS World News, and CNN. She has also written many articles and short stories for national magazines. Her books for Free Spirit Publishing—What Do You Stand For? For Kids, What Do You Stand For? For Teens, The Kid’s Guide to Social Action, Kids with Courage, The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects, The Teen Guide to Global Action, and The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids—have won Parenting’s Reading Magic Award and been named “Best of the Best for Children” by the American Library Association, among other honors.
Barbara has lived in Indiana, New Jersey, Switzerland, Belgium, Utah, and Poland. She and her husband, Larry, currently reside in Park City, Utah. They have four children: Mike, Andrea, Chris, and Sam, ten perfect grandchildren, and a forest of shy deer, a bold moose, busy squirrels, and feathered friends.