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Reading comics while in school could get you in trouble (unless comics are part of the curriculum), but the New York City public school system is doing something unique: it's a comic publisher itself, and it has a big new project with a print run of 100,000.
And the comics are all being given away to NYC public school students.
This project is being orchestrated by the New York City Department of Education - the largest school system in the U.S. - and the Civics For All Comics Group as part of its American history curriculum. The comic, created by writer Henry Barajas, artist Louie Chin, colorist Gab Contreras, and cover artist J. Gonzo, is a biography of farm labor and human rights leader Dolores Huerta titled Dolores Huerta and the Plight of the Farm Workers' Union Organizers. The biography chronicles this civil rights leader's path - and does so remarkably while she is still alive to see this kind of recognition.
“Historias de Resistencia: Dolores Huerta and the Plight of the Farm Workers' Union Organizers is more than just a comic book. It is a tribute to the power of grassroots activism and the enduring legacy of one Mexican American woman's fight for justice," says Barajas in the announcement. "Through its pages, readers of all ages can absorb, study, and be inspired to stand up for what is right."
In addition to the 100,000 print run of Dolores Huerta and the Plight of the Farm Workers' Union Organizers being given out to students starting March 1, the school system is also making a digital version of the comic available for free to reach its entire student population (and the world).
This book is the first of several planned comic books by the NYC public school system in the 'Historias de Resistencia' series.
"The project originated thanks to NYC educators Joe Schmidt, Brian Carlin, and Jenna Ryall of the Civics for All initiative," Barajas tells Popverse. "Schmidt incorporated La Voz De MAYO Tata Rambo into the American History curriculum in 2021 which led to me writing Historias de Resistencia: Dolores Huerta and the Plight of the Farm Workers & Union Organizers."
Here is a preview:
Barajas will be appearing at the Tucscon Festival Books event on March 10, with free copies as well. He also plans on re-publishing this book as a bilingual flip book later this year for the mass market.
[Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated this was the NYC Department of Education's first published comic. We apologize for the error.
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