Racial Justice Book Group(s) Forming
Located in the northeast tip of the country and with an overwhelmingly white membership, Acadia Senior College was challenged to examine how we fit into the now spotlighted reality of systemic racism revealed daily in the newspapers, television, radio, and on our streets. While the underlying racism on which our country was founded and which has been a basic underpinning of the lives of so many Americans is certainly not new, those of us whose lives have been lived with the shield of white privilege need to consider our positions, actions and even unconscious biases.
The real issue is how. How do we enhance and expand our understanding and vision and how can we be even a small part of the work needed for change?
The Racial Justice Committee formed by the Board of ASC spent about two months of intense work trying to come up with at least some ways in which ASC can be part of the movement toward racial justice. We have suggested ideas for books, events, movies, lectures, new courses, discussion groups and book groups to augment what ASC has traditionally done to promote our knowledge and vision of the world. These lists will be added to our website and updated as new ideas are put forth. We intend for them to be ongoing and open to a wide range of new ideas.
The Racial Justice Book Group(s) is one of the new activities suggested by the committee. The group or groups will meet once a month, be flexible and fluid, and will each have a facilitator to start the process. Each group will be limited to eight people and will meet in person, so everyone will need to be vaccinated. You must be an ASC member to join a group.
The first two basic readings will be Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist and Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us. After having these two works in common to all groups, further readings will be chosen by the group itself. The basic aim of the readings is to stimulate discussion, often probably quite personal, of how we are a part of the underlying systemic racism in our country, how we can enlighten ourselves, and how new understanding may lead to change. ASC will reimburse participants for the first two books, after which the groups will be responsible for the purchase of the books they choose.
by Langston Hughes
I too, sing America
I am the darker brother
They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes
But I laugh and eat well and grow strong
Tomorrow, I'll be at the table when company comes
Nobody'll dare say to me, "Eat in the kitchen"
They'll see how beautiful we are and be ashamed
I, too, am America
Those who are interested should call Janice Kenyon at (207) 288-9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
. An initial Zoom meeting, facilitated by Ellen Dohmen, will be held on Thursday, June 17th at 10:30 a.m.
for the purpose of organizing the group(s) and discussing the particulars. The groups shall start meeting in person in the fall, after our summer visitors, activities, and play!
We will work “to see how beautiful”!