The Book Club will meet on the Second Wednesday of each month starting June 2020. If you would like to join the group please see our Facebook group. See below for expectations, guidelines and resources.
Expectations and Guidelines:
Some of the readings and discussions will be uncomfortable at times-they may bring up feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and even hopelessness over the magnitude of white supremacy and its historic and current impact on black lives and other oppressed groups. Although these feelings may arise, it is not the goal to shame or guilt anyone. The intention is to encourage people (especially those who are white) to understand systematic racism, the spectrum of privileges that one can benefit from, examine biases, and discuss ways to honor and protect Black people, Indigenous people, & People of Color (BIPOC) both mentally and physically.
Together we will read and discuss books on anti-racism, as well as books on Black history and fiction written by Black authors. We will also discuss other sources of media, such as podcasts and movies.
This book club will not make you anti-racist, but it will provide you a space to explore and learn how to practice being anti-racist. This practice is the practice of lifetime and unlearning racism can take time to undo-be patient with yourself. To help you not get stuck in these negative feelings, we’ll end each meeting with a brief compassion exercise. Consider practice self-compassion or other mindfulness exercises, as well as journaling, throughout this process. Remember, there is no growth without discomfort.
- Come with a sense of inquiry! Ask questions, listen to others experiences, and lean into the uncomfortable.
- Do not expect or ask BIPOC in your world to educate you or tell you how to become anti-racist-that is request is asking them to perform emotional labor for things you can easily google or look up on your own
- Be respectful, kind, and compassionate towards one another
- There is no such thing as “reverse racism”
- There will be mistakes-we will say things that will come out wrong or not the way they intended. If feeling upset about something someone has said, allow them grace and gently ask them what they intended by their statement. This is a space for growth and understanding. We are all learning, even the moderators
- Prior to attending your first group please do the following:
- Complete the ‘race’ implicit bias test
- This information is for you-you’re welcome to discuss your experience of taking the test, results, or any related to it, but it’s not required. Consider this information a compass and let it help you determine where you need to grow.
- Please read this article: ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack Peggy McIntosh”
- Complete the ‘race’ implicit bias test
Questions to ask yourself to help you while you’re doing this work
- Why are you interested in doing this work?
- How does learning to become anti-racist fit into your personal values and beliefs?
Write these answers down somewhere to serve as your reminders to you when you’re having a challenging time with a reading.
Monthly Reading List
Month 1 (June 10th): New York Times 1619 Podcast by Nikole Hannah-Jones (75min)
“An audio series on how slavery has tranformed america, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling”
Available on Sticher, Spotify, Apple podcasts or https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/podcasts/1619-podcast.html
Month 2 (July 8th): So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of African Americans–have made it impossible to ignore the issue of race. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
“Oluo gives us–both white people and people of color–that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.” Buy Local.