ARTivism Afternoon

Creativity for Oppressive Times!

When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times (details) is not your usual kid’s book, and this Community ARTivism afternoon is an unusual opportunity for community celebration.

When a Bully is President invites readers to “Stand in the truth of who you are. The stronger you are the stronger our world is because you are a part of our world.” The Charnice Miltion Community Bookstore at We Act Radio Studios invites you to an afternoon of book reading and discussion, art project, music, and more to help us all stand in our personal and collective truth.

Note: Originally scheduled to be simultaneous with the bully-president-supporting rally on the National Mall on 9/16 (More below — no link to actual event, to drive traffic to a racist, “America First” site), this ARTivism Afternoon is postponed until 9/23 so as not to conflict with memorial service for Dick Gregory (details also below).

Book reading and discussion: When a Bully is President

Art project for ages 7 and up — including adults. ALL AGES WELCOME and ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE.

Plus music in the garden and more

$15 requested for event participation with NO COPY OF BOOK.

$30 requested for event and copy of the book, When a Bully is President

Continue reading “ARTivism Afternoon”

Radio Premiere: Maya Gonzalez, Brother Yao, & Sing-Talk-Read

We Act Radio rejoins the air waves 9/14 with the premiere broadcast of We Luv Books Radio.

Maya Gonzalez, author, educator, and co-founder of Reflection Press. Author of When a Bully is President, to be highlighted at 9/23 ARTivisim Afternoon bookstore event.

Brother Yao, poet, Bowie State University professor, and co-founder of the former Karibu (ka-REE-boo, “welcome” in KiSwahili) Books chain. (Karibu Story Part 1)

Ashton Wingate represents the DC Public Library and its 9/16 program, “Sing Talk Read” which focuses on literacy for our youngest community members.

HOSTS: LJM, educator and founder of DC Bookapalooza, and Virginia Spatz, feature reporter on We Act Radio’s Education Town Hall.

Read More:
“We need a literacy oasis here,” says LJM, organizer of DC Bookapalooza and co-host of the We Act Radio‘s newest program, “We Luv Books,” launching September 7 and 14 at 7 p.m. “We have a literacy crisis in DC, especially east of the river. The reality is that our children don’t have access to resources and tools which prepare future generations for 21st century skills.” Co-host Virginia Spatz, also feature reporter for We Act Radio’s Education Town Hall, adds that research well documents how improved literacy is key to addressing generational poverty, as well as high crime and violence.

“Want to get tough on crime? Get tough on literacy!” says We Act co-owner, Kymone Freeman, who has been instrumental in creating the non-profit Charnice Milton Community Bookstore, to be housed at the station. He hopes the bookstore venture, and the new radio program, will foster new enthusiasm for reading and discussion, particularly around authors of color. But he also returns frequently to focusing on “literacy as a public safety issue.”

Freeman notes that a 31-year-old Southeast resident was murdered just down the block on August 14, and the station itself has suffered three break-ins in its five-year history. Moreover, the bookstore is named for 27-year-old journalist Charnice Milton, who was shot to death not far from the station in 2015.

We Luv Books will be the first programs broadcast, following the devastating break-in on August 23 that crippled We Act Radio operations for weeks.


Literacy Month: Look for EOTR Article

Look for “Literacy Oasis in Formation: From Bookapalooza to Charnice Milton Community Bookstore” in the September edition of East of the River. Relevant research, related references below.

Update: 9/7 show postponed due to slower than hoped technical rebuild.

Charnice Milton Community Bookstore Literacy Month events —

9/7 and 9/14: We Luv Books Radio Program Launch, 7-8 p.m.

9/11: &Pizza (U Street) donating $2/pizza, 6-9 p.m.

9/16: ARTivism Afternoon: A Community Celebration for Oppressive Times, 3-6 p.m.

9/30: Politics & Prose donating 20% of profits all day.


Research and Reference Links

For more background on “Literacy Oasis in Formation: From Bookapalooza to Charnice Milton Community Bookstore” article:

Find recent neighborhood-specific child poverty figures and much more, from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2011-2015) at DC Action for Children.

Find current research on book ownership, urban “book deserts,” and related topics on the Education Town Hall, July 13, 2017.

Learn more about bookstore partner, Carolina Youth Initiative, as well as the Books and Breakfast DC of HandsUpUnited.

National Press Club Honors Milton

The 44th Annual National Press Club Awards Dinner on July 28 recognized many journalists, including the late Charnice Milton. In Charnice’s memory, her parents, Ken and Francine McClenton, and her editor, Andrew Lightman of Capital Community News, were acknowledged, and the bookstore established in her name was recognized.

In addition to Charnice Milton, honorees included the following journalists:

  • ALISON PARKER of WDBJ-TV, was shot and killed in August 2015, along with her cameraman Adam Ward. Alison’s parents, Andy and Barbara Parker are honorary members of the National Press Club and do advocacy work in her memory.
  • JASON and YEGI REZAIAN of The Washington Post and The National, a UAE publication. The couple were unjustly detained in Iran on July 22, 2014 and held in prison, under harsh conditions, without charges; and
  • JIM VANCE, the late broadcasting legend from WRC-TV in DC, will receive The President’s Award for his outstanding service to journalism and this community.

More on the story at NBC-DC.