Time ago I heard Safyia Nobles’ introduction to Teaching Trayvon’s website. I still can remember when she mentioned that after the killing of Trayvon Martin she felt the urge of doing something to contribute to the development of a critical discussion about race in the United States. Since then I consider this a great idea, which promotes the free/open distribution and analysis of critical materials, the intersectionality of the discussion, and the promotion of the development of a community of thinkers, activist and public in general who are invested in the pursue of social justice. At the same time, I consider that this website could be used as a template to develop similar platforms in a variety of critical issues.
According to the website “A group of professionals, graduate students and faculty members collect resources to educate the public about issues of race, power, privilege, social class and politics in the United States”. The team in charge of the administration of the website are Safiya Noble, who acts as curator, LaTesha Velez as Project Manager, and Torii Moré as Webmaster.
The website also welcomes contributions from the public. These contributions need to be evidence-based readings (scholarly work or published in other social media platforms). The platform allows adding videos, lectures, audio clips and opinion editorials in the areas of intersectionality, race, racism and radicalization, and sex & gender.
How is the material organized? You can browse through “collections” and by “items”. When you browse by item you can sift through different tags
One of the stronger features of the website is the way in which the information is organized. For instance, the collections are divided by articles, blogs, books, documentaries, images, and video clips.
When you click on “books”, you have the chance to scroll-down through the page or you can also look for Title, Creator, and Date Added. When you browse by tags, it will offer a word cloud that helps to visualize the content of the discussion of the platform, and at the same time to indicate to the reader some sort of “relevance” of certain topics. Considering that this is a platform for learning, a person who is new to the topic can use this as an option to understand what are the most important issues that need to be cover at first
Replicability of the idea: The first time I visited the website, I thought this was something I could do to offer some academic-public platform for people who are looking for information regarding topics of environmental racism and indigenous people in Chile. And I certainly think that this could be a project I should develop in the future.
The use of tags is something that helps the user to navigate through the abundant information, but it is not mentioned in the website what’s the criteria used to create the tags. It could be useful for someone who’s planning to use this platform as a template to have access to that information. I’m guessing that the tags follow certain “librarian logic” that for the rest of us non-librarian-or-information-science-guru would be useful to learn. To organize the information in such an accessible way might take more than the good will of a group of people, I can tell by using the platform that the order of things follow a more complex logic, which at the end make it easy to find the information.
Note: all images are screen shoots from the website. I’m using these images without permission