What is Read Woke?

Q: What is Read Woke?

Answer: "Read Woke is a movement.

It is a feeling. It is a style. It is a form of education. It is a call to action; it is our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge in order to better protect your rights."-Cicely Lewis, Founder

Q:What is a Read Woke Book?

Answer: Read Woke Books seek to challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, disrupt the status quo, and share perspectives from underrepresented or oppressed groups.

Q: Who started the Read Woke Challenge?

A: The Read Woke Challenge was founded by Cicely Lewis at Meadowcreek High School in Georgia.

Q: I'm kind of unsure how to actually implement all parts of the program so any advice you can give would be great. How would you explain how to implement the program from start to finish?

A: To begin the process, I suggest that you poll your students and teachers about issues they feel are important. Consider your demographics. Make sure you have books that reflect the demographics of your school while also providing information about other cultures.

  • Do a diversity audit of your collection to see where there is a deficit? How many books do you have by African-American authors that are not about slavery or the Civils Rights movement? TeachingBooks.net and Destiny allow you to run reports.

  • Ask yourself "How many books about LGBTQ teens do I have in my collection?

Q: How did you originally advertise?

A: After determining your community needs, then begin purchasing books or promoting that meet the needs of your community. You can promote by using social media, Read Woke book tastings, flyers, or you can use my student created video. Click here to view. You can also advertise during Freshman orientation and scrolling announcements. I have found the greatest success from working with classroom teachers.

Q: Do you do the program through classes or is it open to everyone?

The program is open to anyone. Even teachers can take the challenge.

Q: Is there any accountability?

A: Once the teachers buy in, you can allow them to track the students’ progress or I use a Google form and weekly book club meetings.

Q: Do students actually sign up for the program?

Yes! Students sign up via a Google form and they supply their contact information so that I can reach out to them throughout the year.

Q: Do you have a current list of books beyond the Bingo card?

I write a bi-monthly column in School Library Journal with new titles. See page 25 of the September 2019 issue. I use a free bingo maker site to make the cards


Q: Do you mind if I use your trademarked phrase Read Woke to make shirts and other promotional items?

I require a donation of at least $50 to my nonprofit Read Woke to begin the process. The nonprofit works to provide books to children in underserved communities and scholarships for students in high poverty areas.

Or makes checks payable to: Read Woke

I don't mind educators using the trademark as long as the shirts and items are being used as prizes and not for profit. I want the students to benefit from Read Woke and not be charged. I do have a Read Woke Online Store where I sell shirts or after the donation make your own shirts. Go to www.readwoke.com and click on shop.