Action Challenge: Discussion for Week 1

Last week at Girls in Capes, I posted a call to action titled “Our Resolution.” In the essay, I explicitly stated what we as a geeky community need to do:

…our resolution is to show our support to creators who are female, LGBTQ, and people of color this year. Our resolution is to use our voices to say whatโ€™s right, whatโ€™s not, and to share the successes of the people within our communities. Our resolution is to normalize the other and not normalize hatred.

Our resolution this year is to take action in order to make progress towards hope.

People use a lot of nice words to talk about equality and diversity, but action is what will bring change, and while we need words, we also need actions. This week, I want to open a discussion about action for a group that has a major impact on many people: educators.

Since I’m involved with writing communities, I know a good number of educators, mainly because a lot of my friends from grad school ended up teaching at the university level. Yesterday, one of my friends — who teaches writing courses that relate to comics — posted a question to his network to ask for recommendations of comics and graphic novels to use in his class.

His stipulation? “Remember no Straight White Male heroes.”

One of the major resolutions in my essay from last week was that “We must reduce focusing on media centered on straight white male experiences.” For my work at Girls in Capes, this means only reviewing work that focuses on the experiences of other demographics, reviewing and elevating as many underrepresented voices as possible.

But that’s a task that fits well with our original purpose: elevating underrepresented voices in geek culture and entertainment at large.

Here’s my question up for discussion this week: as an educator, how do you or can you work towards more inclusive art, literature, and entertainment? What steps do you or can you take towards these goals? Is this more difficult or less difficult based on the types of students you teach?

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