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
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. (Photo: © Joe Henson)
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.
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library will host a three-part online discussion series entitled “Advancing Racial Equity” on Tuesday evenings May 25, July 13, and September 14. The series is open to all community members. Participants will learn how systemic racism functions through laws and policies, explore concepts like positionality and intersectionality, move beyond fear and some of the emotional barriers to advancing equity, and learn tangible tips and skills for building their own anti-racist practice.
Registration is required (see below). You do not need to have attended prior workshops. These are virtual events held via the Zoom online discussion platform. You’ll receive connection info via email once you register.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Setting the Context
In addition to providing historical framing of how racism has been systematized through laws and policies, you will learn foundational vocabulary, concepts, and frameworks to develop your anti-racist lens. You will also gain an understanding of your positionality and how your identities intersect to shape how you make sense of the world and the people you meet.
Session One was held on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Watch the recording…
Fostering Inclusive Environments
We all have a role to play in maintaining an inclusive environment and working to manage our implicit bias is a necessary step. In this interactive workshop, we will examine research on our natural implicit biases and how they influence our institutions, staff, and communities as well as explore strategies to counteract them. We use the concept of “wonder” to radically imagine more inclusive workspaces.
Session Two was held on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Watch the recording…
View Session Two slides from Ozy Aloziem.
Sustaining the Work
Tuesday, September 14 | 6:30-8 p.m.
Equity is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires developing an intentional anti-racist practice. In this closing session, we will learn suggestions for sustaining your equity efforts. We will touch on resources and strategies for continued learning. Finally, we will talk about radical healing and how we can promote racial healing for ourselves and historically marginalized communities.
Register for Session Three…
More Details: The workshop series will be presented by Ozy Aloziem, MSW. Ozioma (Ozy) Aloziem is the Denver Public Library’s first Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager. In addition to her role at DPL, Ozy serves as a racial equity & racial healing consultant for several organizations across the nation. Aloziem is a social work scholar that is deeply committed to collective liberation and social justice. She has been the lead researcher for several projects in multiple countries and has presented at countless research conferences in various disciplines. Receiving her MSW from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, Aloziem, among several other prestigious awards, was awarded the Jean Peart Sinnock award—the highest honor given to a graduating social work student—for her anti-racist research and advocacy.
Film Discussion: Black Men in White Coats
Fewer 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. In early April (2021), the library hosted a free virtual screening of Dr. Dale Okorodudu’s documentary Black Men in White Coats, which dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large. After the screening, viewers were invited to watch a discussion about these issues with panelists from the Mayo Clinic Health System Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Dr. Leonard Ezenagu (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Dr. Jose Ortiz (Orthopedic Surgery), and Dr. Tanushree Singhal (Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine). The discussion was moderated by Berlye Middleton, Vice President of Uniting Bridges.
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.