First off, I need to give major props and respect to Dr Theresa Rojas who not only invited me to come speak to teachers, administrators, and students at MODESTO JUNIOR COLLEGE but is one of the nicest most bad ass Chicana’s I know. She organizes the annual Latinx Comix & Arts Festival in Modesto at MJC. If you’re in the Bay, LA, Northern Cali, or central California go check this event out. Here’s a link
Ok, I got up super early and made the trek from Oakland to Modesto which if you’re not from here takes about 2 hours. It was a super rainy weekend but I was prepared for it and we need as much rain as we can get.
When I arrived English professor Dan Schmidt received me and took me around. Dan was super nice and gave me the leg of the town, took me to lunch with other staff members, and guided me around since I made multiple presentations. This poster was up everywhere around the campus. Fresh Juice came out in the summer so it was nice to let folks know about that early.
Here’s a photo I took with one of the students. I wish I had take a photo of the first presentation with allllll of the students, but it was in a room full of young and older college students so I got talk to them about:
- A career in the arts
- Children’s Book Illustration and writing
- Diversity in literature
- Making a living as an artist
- Social Justice art
I cannot remember everyone’s name for the life of me but it was so nice to sit and have lunch with staff from the school. These adults care a lot about their students and their community!
After a dinner I was brought back to MJC where I was then introduced to a room full of professors, teachers, students, and community members.
So here I gave a presentation about :
- Children’s Book Publishing
- Creative writing and illustration process
- My journey in the arts and kid lit
- Ethnic Studies, Social Justice, Mural art
- My first bilingual book Furqan’s First Flat Top/ El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan
- I talked a bit about visiting young children to read to them
- And I then answered questions from the audience
After the questions, I tabled a bit selling some of my prints, books, and showing them some examples of the type of stuff I bring with me to do workshops for teens such as zines and art books. Dr Rojas helped me handle the merch table because hella folks actually supported, I was not expecting that so I didn’t bring allll my stuff.
And here’s a photo of Dr Theresa Rojas who made it possible for me to visit the college and speak to so many about what I do and see out there. She’s super awesome, and here’s a few words she had to say….
“We have enjoyed having Robert join us at Modesto Junior College no fewer than THREE times so far—for tabling at the Latinx Comic Arts Festival, to speak to a children’s literature course, and as our Visiting Author for the year. That speaks volumes about the impact of his work and our fondness for the way he connects to his audience.”
~Dr. Theresa Rojas
Professor of Ethnic Studies and English
Director of the Latinx Comic Arts Festival
Modesto Junior College
That’s it fam, I really loved speaking to future teachers, early childhood educators, and students. Over the years I’ve read to thousands of young people and increasingly I’m getting the chance to talk to colleges. Here is a link to check out MJC and definitely check out their annual Latinx Comics & Arts Festival.
Dig this? Check out my visit to the Texas Book Festival