The Adjunct Coloring Book

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Our DIY protest tool draws on low-wage outrage

For many years now, therapists have touted the psychological and physiological benefit adults receive by coloring in outlines on a page. Their observations have spawned a generation of adult coloring books designed to reduce stress, to help recover from grief, and to induce tranquility. An adult coloring book like no other, The Adjunct Coloring Book will not reduce stress.

It is chock full of detailed coloring pages, puzzles, poetry and related messages that will, instead, induce stress. Likewise, it will do nothing to help anyone recover from the grief caused by the corporatization of higher education. As for tranquility, not one page in the DIY protest book will help in that regard, either. (Anyway, in the academic labor movement, tranquility is so 2016.) However, used properly, the groundbreaking book is the go-to resource for activists who, weary of explaining academic apartheid to those outside higher education, find themselves wondering, “Do we have to draw you a picture?” No need to get out a pencil! The Adjunct Coloring Book has the pictures they need!

The 48-page publication is a collaborative effort of the American Association of University Chapters of the Colorado Community College System. It has drawn, so to speak, on the skills of chapter members from the Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, Front Range Community College, and Red Rocks Community College. In addition to fantastic images to color, it includes pages of startling facts otherwise deeply buried in state records, along with illuminating salary charts, statistics, and insights to help Colorado’s 4,600+ CCCS adjunct faculty advocate for equitable wages, academic freedom, and a much-needed restoration of shared governance.

Academic labor activists outside Colorado’s system of 13 community colleges may be inspired to create adjunct/contingent labor protest coloring books for their colleges and universities. For that reason, creators of The Adjunct Coloring Book are not copyrighting any of the trouble-making book full of troubling facts. They urge reader/colorers to copy and distribute pages to help make the picture clear everywhere. “How To” instructions on the first page of the book suggest activists color and clip pages, then post them to bulletin boards and cubicles, or leave them inside faculty refrigerators, filing cabinets, desks, and mailboxes. Possible recipients of book copies include faculty new to departments to help them “get the picture” right away, along with officials serving on governing boards or accrediting agencies, and state legislators.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Creators of The Adjunct Coloring Book hope the publication moves them to mention as well, the mighty power of the colored pencil!

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All proceeds benefit AAUP Chapters of the CCCS