Join us for two anti-racist book discussions in December

On December 1 and 2, we’ll discuss Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi) and How to Be an Antiracist (also by Kendi) in two different virtual discussions. Hear from the authors in this clip from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Register now for December 1: Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You

Join us on Tuesday, December 1, 6-7:30 pm​ for the third family and community discussion of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.

Stamped offers a history of racist and anti-racist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, a National Book Award winner.

All Oak Park Elementary School District 97 middle school students have been reading and discussing the book in classes this fall, and we have partnered to support educators in this work. Read more about the initiative »

‘Love the intergenerational space that is created here!’

In this final session of the series, attendees will join together for a presentation followed by peace circle discussions in separate breakout rooms. These sessions are made possible with the support of District 97 and 200 school districts, the E-Team of Oak Park, Dominican University’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) group, and the Oak Park Public Library. Young adults and teenagers have a part in being facilitators of the peace circle discussions.

November’s discussion drew 100 adults and almost 50 kids and teens. Here are some reasons why they attended:

“To gain a deeper understanding of my community’s understanding of the struggles and history of my people. And to gain a deeper knowledge of the work needed to push forward.”

“My 6th grader is reading Stamped in school and I want to help him unpack all he’s learning.”

“I want more practice discussing racism, I want to be a part of my community, what else am I going to do on a Tuesday night in a pandemic!”

After breakout sessions, they told us they loved feeling like they were heard and part of a loving community. One middle school student said that often when talking about racism in school they only ever get to the surface, and this session was a transitional experience for them to really open up more. Here’s more of what participants valued:

“Hearing from all different people (especially young middle schoolers) and feeling connected to my community and so proud! Hopeful!”

“I feel understood, hopeful, happy, uplifted.”

“I was humbled by people’s honest reactions and true feelings towards these tough subjects.”

“Love the intergenerational space that is created here!”

Register now for December 2: How to Be an Antiracist

Join us on Wednesday, December 2, 6:30-7:45 pm, for the second meeting of the new Anti-Racist Book Group, hosted in collaboration with the Austin Branch of the Chicago Public Library and part of our anti-racism journey.

This community collaboration was initiated by Danielle Morales with Walk the Walk. Monthly meetings are virtual. In October, we discussed Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall, who later joined us for a Q&A. Watch the recording »

“The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it.”

— Ibram X. Kendi

On December 2, we will discuss How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, whose concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. 

Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

Copies can be downloaded through Media on Demand/Libby. Need help getting started with Media on Demand or Libby? Watch how-to videos »