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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA)

Book Selections

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

January 2021

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

January 27, 2021 at 12 p.m.

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Synopsis: "Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day . . . She points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity."

Kindred, book cover

February 2021

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (Adapter), Octavia E. Butler (Author), and John Jennings (Illustrator)

February 24, 2021 at 12 p.m.

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Synopsis: "Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him."

Before our discussion, you may preview the topics we will discuss.  

invisible women

March 2021

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

March 31, 2021 at 12 p.m.

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Synopsis: "Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates the shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women​, diving into women’s lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor’s office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world."

Jerico Brown, the tradition, poetry collection

April 2021

The Tradition by Jericho Brown 

April 28, 2021 at 12 p.m. 

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Synopsis: "The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is testament to his formal skill."

Book Cover Image of  Just Mercy

May 2021

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice of Redemption by Bryan Stevenson


Synopsis: The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday

November 2020

The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday

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Synopsis: "The Way to Rainy Mountain recalls the journey of Tai-me, the sacred Sun Dance doll, and of Tai-me’s people in three unique voices: the legendary, the historical, and the contemporary. It is also the personal journey of N. Scott Momaday, who on pilgrimage to the grave of his Kiowa grandmother, traversed the same route taken by his forebears and in so doing confronted his Kiowa heritage."

Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi by John F. Marszalek III

October 2020

Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi by John F. Marszalek III

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Synopsis: "In Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi, John F. Marszalek III shares conversations with same-sex couples living in small-town and rural Mississippi. In the first book of its kind to focus on Mississippi, couples tell their stories of how they met and fell in love, their decisions on whether or not to marry, and their experiences as sexual minorities with their neighbors, families, and churches. Their stories illuminate a complicated relationship between many same-sex couples and their communities, influenced by southern culture, religion, and family norms."

Author talk: John F. Marszalek III spoke at the book club meeting in October.  View the recording.