One Book, One Community

One Book, One Community is a community-wide reading initiative aimed at encouraging residents of the Chippewa Valley to turn their attention to a single book on a social justice topic in order to understand how the issue affects our community, and more importantly, to start conversations about how community members can take positive steps toward change.

The selected title for 2021 is Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson. In this brilliant book, Wilkerson gives presents a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

“Should be required reading for generations to come … A significant work of social science, journalism, and history, Caste removes the tenuous language of racial animus and replaces it with a sturdier lexicon based on power relationships.” – Joshunda Sanders, The Boston Globe

Photo: © Joe Henson

Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns. Her debut work won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was named to Time’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s and The New York Times’s list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. She has taught at Princeton, Emory, and Boston Universities and has lectured at more than two hundred other colleges and universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia.


One Book, One Community is supported by the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, and Uniting Bridges.

Related Events

Film Screening & Discussion:
Black Men in White Coats

Synopsis: Less black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978 and black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. With only 2% of American doctors being black men, this comes as no surprise. This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large.

April 2-5 – Virtual Film Screening

Please join us for a screening of the documentary Black Men in White Coats from Dr. Dale Okorodudu. We have made viewership of the 80-minute film available for free, April 2-5. A personalized link will be provided to those who register. We are limited to 300 links on a first come, first serve basis.

Register required:

April 7 (6 p.m.) – Virtual Film Discussion

We will be holding a panel discussion highlighting various topics raised in the film. We’ll also field audience questions. The discussion will be moderated by Berlye Middleton, Vice President of Uniting Bridges. Panelists from the Mayo Clinic Health System Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee include: Dr. Leonard Ezenagu (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Dr. Jose Ortiz (Orthopedic Surgery), and Dr. Tanushree Singhal (Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine).

Register required: Click here!

Event Co-sponsors
Uniting Bridges and Mayo Clinic Health System

Praise for Caste

“An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”

Dwight Garner, The New York Times

➮ #1 New York Times Bestseller

➮ Oprah’s Book Club Pick

➮ Longlisted for the National Book Award

➮ Named the #1 Nonfiction Book of the Year by Time Magazine

➮ Named one of the ten best books of the year by: People • The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly

➮ Longlisted for the Pen/Jean Stein Book Award

➮ Longlisted for the Pen/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction

➮ Named one of the best books of the year by: The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • Bloomberg • Christian Science Monitor • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Fortune • Smithsonian Magazine • Marie Claire • Town & Country • Slate • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters

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Anti-Racism Resources from the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

As your library, it’s our mission to promote lifelong learning, create collaborative spaces, and support open access to diverse materials and resources enhancing the quality of life in this community. We can’t effectively do this without addressing the issues of racism and inequity. To help, we’ve assembled anti-racist book, website, and multimedia suggestions organized by topic and age, helpful community organizations, upcoming library events, and more.