Hoag Library hosting book discussion June 17 on racial justice

Posted 10 June 2021 at 7:58 am

Press Release

ALBION – Five local groups next week are sponsoring the first of hopefully several book discussions focusing on racial justice. The public is invited to the book discussions at noon and 6:30 p.m. on June 17 at Hoag Library.

The discussion will feature White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his 1963 Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.” The sponsoring groups feel that these words are as relevant today as when Dr. King penned them in 1963.

The book discussion is being offered two times for the convenience of all those interested. You may either attend at noon (bring a “brown bag” lunch) or at 6:30 p.m. (or both).  The discussions will be held in the library’s large “community room.”

Although, the groups encourage people to read White Fragility: it is not a requirement for attending.

Co-sponsors include Social Justice, People Embracing Diversity and Albion Betterment Committees, Pullman Memorial Universalist Church and Hoag Library.

The committee viewed DiAngelo’s book as a good primer for these discussions. From Library Journal: “DiAngelo challenges white readers to acknowledge and then set aside their feelings in order to think critically about how their racial identity operates on a personal and collective level within a system that privileges whiteness at the expense of those classified as not white.” She basically asks particularly people of good will, to listen, especially to minorities, rather than react.

DiAngelo, white, was raised in poverty. Yet, she was class valedictorian at Seattle U. She’s a PhD In Multi-Cultural Education. She’s trained major businesses, universities and governments internationally. White Fragility has been translated into 10 languages.

Rev. James Renfrew, Byron Presbyterian Church, will lead the noon discussion. Kim Remley  of People Embracing Diversity will moderate. Sister Dolores Ann O’Dowd, President of GOMOC and past Catholic Chaplain at Albion Correctional Facility, will be a reactor. Bob Golden, 43 years in criminal justice, minority and domestic violence work, will frame the discussion.

Kim Remley will lead the discussion at  6:30 p.m. Kae Wilbert, Chair of People Embracing Diversity, a joint committee of three churches, will moderate.  Sister Dolores and Bob Golden will fulfill the same roles.