NEW YORK - Three national civil rights leaders have launched the “Race and America’s Future Virtual Book Club,” a six-week online book club exploring the challenges and opportunities facing our changing nation – and what we can do about them.
Inspired by the new book Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (written by PolicyLink Founder & CEO Angela Glover Blackwell, USC Professor Manuel Pastor, and Asian-American civil rights leader Stewart Kwoh), the virtual book club will engage people from all ethnic, cultural, social and political backgrounds in an open, honest, and meaningful discussion on race.
“By 2050 people of color will be the majority in our country – and yet there remains so much work ahead to fix the deep-seated, inequities that persist in our economy, our institutions, our schools, and our communities,” said Angela Glover Blackwell. “America needs a national dialogue on race and, although this virtual book club won’t carry that weight by itself, we do hope it will spark real discussion across the nation and in our communities.”
Beginning today and continuing every Wednesday through Election Day, these online conversations will explore crucial issues facing the country today, as America pushes towards 2050, when people of color will comprise a majority in America.
Today’s inaugural installment asks “Are we post racial yet,” and is “post racial” something America should strive to be?
Additional discussion topics over the next six weeks include:
Oct. 6: Color Lines: Growing and Accepting Diversity
Oct. 13: Race and the Economy
Oct. 20: Urgent Challenges: Immigration, Incarceration, and Climate Change
Oct. 27: New Leadership for now and 2050
Nov. 3: Equity is the Superior Growth Model
Hosted through Equity Blog, these discussions will be critical as the November elections approach, and America’s leaders work towards a more equitable and inclusive recovery for all people.
The book club is free and requires no specific registration. Members will be able to participate using their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts, or by creating a new account at Intense Debate, a new commenting system allowing them to track the conversation the entire time.
Every week, one of the authors will post two to three questions to accompany each topic, helping guide the conversation – but not limiting it.
“A successful recovery requires that we all engage and work towards pragmatic solutions that make it possible for all people to participate in America’s resurgence. I encourage you to join us and be a part of this critical dialogue on race our nation so greatly needs,” said Glover Blackwell.
"Race can be an incredibly difficult subject to talk about – which is exactly why we must do so as openly and frankly as possible,” said Manuel Pastor. “Having these conversations in a way that is personal and candid -- but with a focus on the policy agenda that follows -- will help lay the groundwork for a national agenda that leads with equity. We hope that the ‘Race and America’s Future Virtual Book Club’ will be a useful step towards pushing this conversation in the right direction, and helping us all reach common ground on today’s most divisive issues.”
"Before we can develop policy frameworks that address the many struggles disparately impacting people of color --- high unemployment, impoverished communities, poor health and schools --- we must deeply understand why race is a common denominator, and a key to finding real and lasting solutions to these growing disparities," said Stewart Kwoh.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.