The #runwithrmaud campaign encouraged and frustrated me. I saw hashtags and runners across my news feed and knew that in order to sustain the moment and push people from a run to real, sustainable action that dismantles racist systems, people would need support. I thought of the transformation that happens for students in my African American Lit and Social Justice classrooms and thought- book club. I'd gather up as many of my White friends I could and we'd study and discuss and strategize action.
If there is one thing I learned in my 16 years of teaching, including the last 6 years I spent in a predominantly white school trying to change hearts and minds about racism in America, it’s that reading powerful and convicting texts and having open, honest, self reflective, repentant and empowering conversations about these texts changes lives and stirs people to action.
This "book club" has become a movement. Over 400 people from across the nation are signed up.
Each week, we have guest speakers of color sharing insights about their personal work, their stories, and their triumphs and struggles. We have bi weekly "commit to action" forms and support each other with strategies and accountability. We hear the words of Malcolm X reminding us that White people need to talk to other White people to end racism.
So, how do we do this? We learn about ourselves through some mighty examination and conviction from Ijeoma Oluo's So you want to talk about race. We learn a more fuller truth of our history through Dr. Carol Anderson's White Rage and we will continue to explore these themes through fiction, non fiction and memoir all while cycling through LEARNING, ACTING, REFLECTING.
It is not to late to join. Click here. Join the movement.