it is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

brave spaces

LGBTQ @ CSU recently hosted LaSaia Wade, Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago designed to create and provide culturally competent community services. LaSaia led a lively session and challenged us to continue working to develop and promote affirming spaces – and enable understanding and growth around trans issues. 

All of us in the queer community (and beyond) owe much appreciation to the many brave trans folks, particularly TWOC, who have led and continue to lead the way for us across contexts.    

March 31 is the tenth anniversary of Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV).



In the Margins


I am honored to be part of the In the Margins Books Awards Committee to recognize literature that appeals to the reading needs and wants of marginalized young adults. Here are our 2019 top picks for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Advocacy:

  • Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
  • Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth by Latin American Youth Center Writers and Santiago Casares
  • The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost its Way by Cara H. Drinan

Full details available from SLJ:

In the Margins 2019 Top Ten Titles


In December, 2018, a homelessness awareness initiative was launched as part of the Sesame Street in Communities program.

As WGN9 reported, the goal is to give service providers, parents, and teachers tools to address homelessness with children, in order to talk about it and raise awareness of the issue from a child’s perspective and also to help children experiencing homelessness feel less alone.

About 1 in 20 children younger than 6 experience homelessness according to a report released by the US Administration for Children and Families.

On October 18, Chicago State University celebrated famed author and poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a former faculty member, by renaming its library in her honor.Portrait unveiling with Joyce Owens Anderson

Read more about the lively ceremony at or listen to Ms. Brooks herself in this interview.

I am a writer perhaps because I am not a talker. – GEB 1917-2000

2018 is the fiftieth anniversary of  Harper Valley PTA,  a lively, country-pop song that captured the anger many women felt about double standards. In recognition of this landmark, and in the shadow of the growing #metoo movement, NPR’s All Things Considered looks back at this famous melody.



I feel like books have kind of saved my life and given me the knowledge that I needed to start over. – Nando Mondragon

Check out more:

The American Library Association Annual Conference always includes abundant opportunities to learn and have fun! #ALAAC18 was no exception! Highlights included Michelle Obama’s keynote and screenings of the public hosted by Emilio Estevez and Ryan J. Dowd, Executive Director of Hesed House, who discussed strategies for providing effective services to homeless patrons.

I was glad to have the opportunity to co-present with Keikilani Meyer and share details of Nānā I Ke Kumu (Look to the Source) at the diversity and outreach fair.