THE RIGHT TO HOME: HOUSING JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE BILINGUAL CHILDREN’S BOOK

August 9, 2021 -- Heather Appel

Alejandria Fights Back inspires youth to take action against evictions

Oakland, CA -  A bilingual children’s book collectively authored by housing justice advocates and artists from across the country will hit bookstores August 10th, just as families across the nation are facing an unprecedented housing crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. 

Alejandria Fights Back / La Lucha de Alejandria! tells the story of nine-year old Alejandria, an Afro-Latina girl for whom home isn’t just the apartment she shares with Mami and her abuela, but the whole neighborhood. It’s the place where Ms. Beatrice makes yummy picos; Ms. Alicia sells flowers with her little dog, Duende; Mr. Amir has his corner store. But lately rent prices are going up, and people in el barrio are leaving because they can no longer afford their homes. Then the worst thing happens: Mami receives an eviction notice. Alejandria knows it isn’t fair, and she’s not about to give up and leave. Join Alejandria as she brings her community together to fight and save their neighborhood!

The hardcover picture book, which Kirkus Review called “Simply inspiring” was the product of a unique collaborative creative process between artists and advocates. It was co-authored by interdisciplinary writer, artist, and advocate Leticia Hernandez Linares, illustrated by artist Rob Trujillo, and translated by Dr. Carla Espana. The book was co-authored by  THE RISE-HOME STORIES PROJECT, a collective of multimedia storytellers and social justice advocates who work at the nexus of housing, land, and racial justice in the US.  “My family has fought long and hard to remain in our home,” says Linares, a lifelong resident of the Mission district in San Francisco, who successfully fought her own eviction battle with the help of local housing advocates.

PowerSwitch Action (formerly Partnership for Working Families) is part of the Rise-Home stories Project, and staff from the organization as well as their affiliate Georgia STAND-UP were part of the team that created the storyworld of Alejandria Fights Back! / La lucha de Alejandria!  

The organizations and artists that created Alejandria Fights Back / La lucha de Alejandria aim for it to reach families in communities most at risk for displacement. The book has been crafted so that children, their caregivers, educators and community organizers will see themselves in this story. The story educates youth and adults on the  issues of gentrification, housing insecurity, but more importantly aims to leave young people with the sense that they have power to affect change when they come together with their neighbors to take collective action.

“The transformative solutions we need will come from the organized communities, from elders to the very young, all standing together to build and win the local policies and solutions that will protect us and our homes.” - Rose Arrieta, Causa Justa :: Just Cause

“We need Alejandrias standing up for our communities everywhere and fighting to make sure recovery efforts help people stay in their homes and put down roots.” - Heather Appel, PowerSwitch Action

Alejandria Fights Back / La lucha de Alejandria is being published by The Feminist Press. It will be available in bookstores and online retailers starting  TOMORROW, AUGUST 10th.

Rise-Home Stories Project and PowerSwitch Action affiliates are coordinating readings, book giveaways and other events that use the story as an entry point to give people information and action opportunities against eviction. They have also created a guide for educators, parents, and community to use as they read the book to children. For information on upcoming virtual events and to access the discussion guide, visit AlejandriaFightsBack.com 

Organizations and individuals who would like to host readings or access a limited number of free copies of the book to distribute to communities impacted by displacement should reach out to PowerSwitch Action at info@powerswitchaction.org and Rise-Home Stories Project at info@risehomestories.com.

 

BOOK DETAILS

Alejandria Fights Back! / ¡La Lucha de Alejandria! 

LETICIA HERNÁNDEZ-LINARES AND THE RISE-HOME STORIES PROJECT, ILLUSTRATED BY ROBERT LIU-TRUJILLO

Publication Date: August 10, 2021

48 pages | 8.5 x 11 inches | US $16.95 9781558617049 (hardback)

 

THE RISE-HOME STORIES PROJECT (Co-Author) is an innovative collaboration between multimedia storytellers and social justice advocates from several grassroots organizations who work at the nexus of housing, land, and racial justice in the US. Alejandria Fights Back is one of five media projects being created by Rise-Home Stories. For more information visit risehomestories.com 

LETICIA HERNÁNDEZ-LINARES (Co-Author) is a bilingual, interdisciplinary writer, artist, and racial justice educator. The first-generation US-born daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, she is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl (Tía Chucha Press) and coedited The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. She is the recipient of San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist grant, San Francisco Library Laureate), Creative Work Fund Grantee, Zellerbach Family Foundation Grantee, KQED Local Hero Award, Latino Heritage Month.

ROBERT LIU-TRUJILLO (Illustrator) is an author and illustrator based in the Bay Area. He is the author of several books, including Furqan’s First Flat Top.He is co-founder of The Trust Your Struggle Collective, a contributor to The Social Justice Childrens Bk Holiday Fair, The Bull Horn Blog, Rad DadMuphoric Sounds, and the founder of Come Bien Books.

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