Nick Demske (he/him/his) lives in Racine, Wisconsin, and serves in elected office as the County Supervisor of Racine County’s First District. Nick works at the Racine Public Library in a role he designed himself. His title is “Community Resources Librarian” and the role is built off of community organizing models.
In 2017, and every year since, Racine was identified as one of the 5 worst cities in the U.S. for Black Americans to live in. In 2019, Wisconsin was identified as the most segregated state in the nation. It is also the state that incarcerates more Black men per capita than any other. Racine has one of the most significant Black communities in the state and a large undocumented community, as well, whose challenges are very difficult to quantify. Because of this, Nick’s work focuses on connecting Black and Brown communities with access to library resources in atypical and innovative ways.
In 2019, Nick participated in an ALA workshop for librarians to become Racial Healing Circle Practitioners and to bring that practice back to the communities they serve. With his colleague and friend Elkid Alvarez Maldonado, Nick has helped bring this model to Racine and beyond, via both in-person and virtual events. Nick is also Founder and Director of the BONK! Music and Poetry Series, which for over a decade now has focused on bringing artists of color and other underrepresented voices to Racine. Past features include Afaa Michael Weaver, Tyehimba Jess, Naomi Shihab Nye, John Murillo, Kimberly Blaeser, Ross Gay, Timothy Liu, Erika L. Sánchez and many others.
Keywords = Public Libraries, Racial Healing, Children, Adults, Outreach, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Race, Implicit Bias, Older Adults, Intersectionality, Anti-Racism, Trauma Recovery, Food Justice, Environmental Justice, Criminal Justice Transformation
$Speaking Fee (Speaker typically requires travel, lodging and honorarium. Speaker has a fee structure that is based off the nature/length of engagement(s) which is negotiable based on what the specific market can bear)
Willing to Travel