Racial Justice Book Club
In partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, YWCA Northeast Kansas hosts a community book club that will feature books written by Black, Indigenous, and people of color. All are invited to participate in monthly meetings to discuss the books and relevant social issues within our community. Discussions will be guided by Regina Platt, YWCA Racial Justice & Advocacy Coordinator, and Miranda Ericsson, Readers Librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
In 2022, our book club meets online on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM via the online web conferencing platform Zoom. Although it is preferable to have read the book prior to the sessions, please feel free to join even if you haven’t read the book. Stay updated about Racial Justice Book Club information, including receiving the meeting details and monthly Zoom link by clicking on the button below.
2022 Book Discussions:
June 28: The Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande. In this honest and inspirational memoir, award-winning author Reyna Grande shares her story as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who made the harrowing journey across the border as a child. Growing up between two worlds, Grande faces the complications and tensions of living life under her family’s goals and expectations for her, juxtaposed with the reality of immigration in her new home, the United States of America.
Join us on June 28 at 7:00 p.m. for a great discussion via Zoom.
If you don’t have time to read the book, here are some quick links to catch you up on the topic:
- About Author Reyna Grande
- From the publisher, Simon and Schuster
- “A courageous voice emerges in ‘The Distance Between Us” (Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times)
We will be joined by Dr. Valerie Mendoza, Title III Grant Director at Washburn University. She works with first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students to increase retention and graduation rates. Her background and current work will help us view Grande’s story through our own experiences here in the Topeka community.
Upcoming 2022 Reads:
June: The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
View Past Book Club Reads
“Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi (January)
“How the Word is Passed” by Clint Smith (February)
“First and Only” by Jennifer Farmer (March)
Stand Against Racism Challenge (April)
“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (May)
“The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande (June)
“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?” by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum (January)
“Mediocre, The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America” by Ijeoma Oluo (February)
“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” by Isabel Wilkerson (April)
“The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives” edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen (May)
“As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock” by Dina Gilio-Whitaker (June)
“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee (July)
“Rising Out of Hatred” by Eli Saslow (August)
“The Whiteness of Wealth:” by Dorothy Brown (September)
“Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving our Democracy” by Tiffany Cross (October)
“Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America” by Maria Hinojosa (November/December)
“White Fragility” by Robin DeAngelo
“How to Be Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
“Chokehold: Policing Black Men” by Paul Butler
“When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
“An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
“Healing Politics” by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed
“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
“Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi
“A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law” by Sherrilyn Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, and Anthony C. Thompson
“Citizen” by Claudia Rankine
“We Were Eight Years in Power” by Ta-Nehisi Coates