New blog post: The Rebus Foundation blog features a new post about the LGBTQ textbook project

New blog post!

@david wrote a blog post reflecting on a case study that the Rebus practicum student @donna wrote about LGBTQ+ Studies: A Primer, a book lead by @Deborah.Amory and @allisonbrown

Read Opening up LGBTQ discourse with a compelling textbook project on the Rebus Foundation blog…

and tell us about your experiences working with students on making open textbooks below.


Leigh, please do repost your message and tweet away, especially if you are able to make the corrections. it looks like it will take a little longer for us to get organize ourselves on social media, so any support and shouts out in the meantime are much appreciated.

Will do! Expect tweets on Monday. Thanks for you help. The correction has been made.

thanks so much you are fabulous! now where is that heart button thing??? lol

1 Like

I had a thought after writing this blog post, and then reflecting on it a bit. It’s related to privilege, power, accessibility, writing, openness, sharing…

Years ago, I was volunteering for a queer youth services organization in Portland, Maine. I really wanted to write a book about what we were doing there, about the generous and smart organizers, and the amazing young people. It was a pretty amazing model of empowerment and community building. I had some time on my hands, and I thought a book would help create value for the organization.

I talked to the (oh-so-brilliant) volunteer coordinator about my idea. Ever so gently, she suggested that I might, in fact, choose not to proceed with said book, because as soon as I stepped into the role of ‘author’, it could suddenly disempower all the great young people around us.

How? I asked. By becoming the voice of this story, rather than letting their voices be the voice.

But any of them, I said, could do the same. Just pick up a pen and paper and start writing. They could be the author.

Not really.

For a lot of people—particularly people who have been told all their life that they are worthless and have no place in a family or a society—there’s no assumed ‘right’ to sit down and write a book. Authorship generally requires a sense of authority, and authority comes from having privilege and pre-existing power.

I felt ashamed at first, then grateful. What insight my friend had had, and how carefully had they shared it with me. I put down my pen (er, keyboard) and instead of talking/writing/telling, I listened. I waited. I didn’t act out my power. Listening to other people’s stories is sometimes a lot more useful than trying to write them down on their behalf. Advocacy is double-edged, I learned.

This open textbook project has the potential to do so much good in terms of opening up discourse, dialogue, and delightful debate. It can also be a great way for many people’s stories to be listened to, and to be written about. I’m not quite sure how that will get realized, but then, it’s not up to me. I’m just glad that the team leaders know what they are doing. They’ll figure it out and be brilliant.

1 Like

:clap:t5: Thank you for sharing these reflections, David!

It is so important to remember this, and to be conscious to invite and co-create with those who may not have often had the privilege of doing so. It reminds me of what Maha @bali said during an Office Hours session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (words hers):

[W]hen you think about inclusion as giving everyone space at the table, you need to think beyond giving people space at the table, that you’ve predesigned. So, you need to give people opportunities to design the table. You need to give them an opportunity to decide what gets put on the table. You need to have everyone have opportunities to decide what the rules are for that table.

Collaborate and create. Or, in some cases, as you rightly say, start by listening:

I’m definitely going to be keeping these little pieces of advice in mind when I write, or as I collaborate with others creating blog posts, open textbooks, or other OER. And also perhaps reach out to you, @Deborah.Amory, @allisonbrown, Sean Massey, and all the others involved in this project for some inspiration. You’re all setting great examples for us to follow — so thank you! :star2: