NEWS Antiracist Book Cover
Equity and Inclusion

Book Groups on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Begin in October

In the fall 2021 semester, the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) will be continuing its Learning Community Book Groups with “How to be an Antiracist,” by Ibram Kendi, “What if I Say the Wrong Thing?,” by Verna Myers and “Braving the Wilderness,” by Brene Brown. All in the UMass community are welcome to join a pre-scheduled book group or to form their own book group.

The deadline to register for a book group is Sunday, Oct. 10, and participants will be given a free copy of the book they choose as well as guides for discussion and ground rules. Groups will begin meeting the week of Oct 18.

“The goal of this book group initiative is to learn how to have difficult conversations, engage more respectfully when disagreeing, and to better understand difference all around us,” says Emmanuel Adero, deputy chief officer for equity and inclusion. “With persistent racial and social injustice front-of-mind for many of us lately, we invite members to continue to genuinely and regularly challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and beliefs about ourselves and others, and to build relationships with one another.”

Throughout the semester, participants will meet regularly in the format of their choosing -- Zoom or in-person, although Zoom is the recommended format -- to recognize challenges and develop tools for more thoughtful interaction across difference, understand how our attempts at finding connections and building communities can also lead to polarization and to understand the roots of racism and bias and ways we can work to dismantle it.

Groups for all three books have been scheduled for the following, although individuals may contact OEI to schedule a time not listed:

  • Mondays, 4-5 p.m. on Oct 18 and 25; Nov. 1, 8 and 15
  • Tuesdays, 1-2 p.m. on Oct. 19 and 26; Nov. 2, 9 and 16
  • Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 27; Nov. 3, 10 and 17
  • Thursdays, 4-5 p.m. on Oct. 14, 21, 27, Nov. 4 Note: The two Thursdays following Nov. 4 fall on campus closure days. Additional sessions may be added at the discretion/agreement of LCBG members to take place after Thanksgiving break.

Sign up at the OEI website.