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13th Annual Diversity Matters Book Series

Diversity Matters Book Series

MCC’s Diversity Matters Book Series began in 2008. It consists of 4-5 books featured for discussion from September to June each year. Audience members are encouraged to read the book and join to share in a discussion with an appointed leader. It is not required to read the book to attend the discussion. Limited copies of the books are available in the MCC library.

Participation for all programs is free and open to the public.

Contact bvelazquez@mccneb.edu or 531-622-2253 for more information.

"Ravensbruck" by Sarah Helm

Book discussion led by Kael Sagheer, education coordinator, Institute for Holocaust Education and Coordinator, Nebraska Holocaust Education Consortium

This untold story of the concentration camp Hitler built for female prisoners illuminates the attempted escapes, executions and impossible courage of women history conspired to forget. Only a small number of the prisoners were Jewish. Ravensbrück was primarily a place for the Nazis to hold other inferior beings: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes and aristocrats.

To view Ravensbruck again, follow this link.
Access Passcode: Ravenbruck2020

REPEAT SESSION—Diversity Matters Book Series ZOOM

"White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism" by Robin Di Angelo

Discussion led by Eden Wales Freedman, Ph.D., vice provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Eden Wales Freedman, Ph.D, is the vice provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs at St Mary’s University of Minnesota. Dr. Wales Freedman oversees the Institutional Review Board, the libraries, the Writing Center, and many aspects of academic administration including curriculum and assessment. A published scholar, Dr. Wales Freedman previously served at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she was a tenured associate professor and served as director of Diversity Studies and chair of the Department of Communication, Literature, and the Arts. Prior to that, she taught at Boston College, the University of New Hampshire, and Adams State University. She was also named Dr. Thomas R. Feld Chair for Teaching Excellence for 2018-2020, and served as deputy Title IX coordinator.

This book explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. The author deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people.’ Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, Di Angelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
REPEAT SESSION:

Date: Jan. 7
Time: Noon CST
Location: Virtual White Fragility discussion and presentation, connect by ZOOM

To view White Fragility again, follow this link.
Access Passcode: WFDiAngelo

"My Vanishing Country: A Memoir by Bakari Sellers"

Discussion led by Pastor Kenneth A. Allen, Sr., Zion Baptist Church

This book is an eye-opening odyssey through the South’s past, present and future that is a moving and gripping tribute to America’s forgotten rural working-class black folks. In this atmospheric, rich and poetic book, Sellers shines a light on life in today’s rural South, where Americans still struggle for the basics of modern life: internet access, groceries, medical care and clean water. Part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis, My Vanishing Country is a compelling read that captures the remarkable spirit and resilience of one small town and makes visible other ‘forgotten’ communities.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 17
Time: noon - 1 p.m. CST
Location: Virtual presentation Connect by ZOOM

Join Zoom Meeting for My Vanishing Country book discussion.
Meeting ID for Meeting for My Vanishing Country discussion.
To view My Vanishing Country again, follow this link

There There by Tommy Orange

Discussion led by Gretchen Carroll (Cheyenne Arapaho of Oklahoma), multicultural outreach coordinator, University of Nebraska Omaha

This novel follows twelve characters from Native communities, all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. There is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and working to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, who is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death, has come to work at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil has come to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American--grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant, utterly contemporary and always unforgettable.

Date: Tuesday, February 2
Time: 11 a.m. - noon CST
Location: Virtual presentation Connect by ZOOM

View the presentation There There again on YouTube .

"How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" by Julia Alvarez

Discussion led by Maria Valentin, U.S. Census Bureau, partnership specialist

Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters-Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia-arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost-and what they find-is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premiere novelists of our time.

Date: Thursday, March 25
Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. CDT
Location: Virtual presentation Connect by ZOOM

Join Zoom Meeting for How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents book discussion.
Meeting ID for How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents discussiom

"The Yellow Envelope" by Kim Dinan

Discussion led by Katie Sutko Twit

Plagued by anxiety and a persistent feeling that there was more to life than paychecks and mortgages, Kim and her husband decide to uproot their lives and travel around the world. Just before their departure, they are given an unexpected gift that will shape their adventures: a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away to those they encounter on their journey. Through Ecuador, India, Nepal, and beyond, the pair encounter problems at every step, including major challenges to their marriage. However, as Kim and her husband figure out how to give to the people they meet and to each other, they learn that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give. The Yellow Envelope is a vividly insightful look at how travel stretches and pushes the traveler, and it tells the tale of the transformative power of giving, not just of money, but also of ourselves.

Date: Thursday, April 8
Time: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. CDT
Location: Virtual presentation Connect by ZOOM

Join Zoom Meeting for The Yellow Envelope book discussion.
Meeting ID for The Yellow Envelope discussion


Additional International/Intercultural Education virtual programming can be found on Youtube.

ACCOMODATIONS:  Audience members requiring accommodations due to a disability must contact Barbara Velazquez, bvelazquez@mccneb.edu, 531-622-2253 at least two weeks prior to the program.