Office of Equity and Inclusion to Sponsor Reading Groups on Race, Division and Learning

In the spring 2021 semester, the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) will be continuing it’s Learning Community Book Groups with its recently expanded offering of “How to be an Antiracist,” by Ibram Kendi. OEI is continuing prior discussion groups with the books “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 book group and have the opportunity to form new learning community groups throughout the year.

“The goals of this book group initiative are to learn how to have difficult conversations, engage more respectfully when disagreeing, and to better understand difference all around us,” says Emmanuel Adero, senior director of diversity outreach, assessment and planning. “With persistent racial and social injustice front-of-mind for many of us lately, this spring we invite members to continue to genuinely and regularly challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and beliefs about ourselves and others, and most importantly to build relationships with one another.”

Throughout the semester, participants will meet regularly via Zoom 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. These foundational concepts and skills are vital in our road to building an inclusive community grounded in dignity and respect.

Sign up at the OEI website