Speak Up / Speak Out

Conversations About Race

Join us as we continue to discuss race and social justice in our communities and in America.

Your library is more than a home for books; it also offers spaces to listen, to reflect and to grow.

We’re once again inviting central Ohioans to join us in reading, discussing and reflecting upon the same book. This year we’re featuring three titles. We’ll discuss each one during a virtual panel of community leaders and then hold a virtual book discussion where you can share your thoughts. Finally, we’ll hear from the author for a virtual talk.

Featured Book

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of Black women and men. What is it like to inhabit a Black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? 

Check it out:

Registration Coming Soon

  • Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, Oct. 18 | 12-1 p.m.

  • Virtual Author Talk

Wednesday, Nov. 9 | 2-3 p.m.

Registration Coming Soon

  • Virtual Panel Discussion

Tuesday, Sept. 13

MODERATOR:
 
Dr. Anthony Wilson
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Columbus Metropolitan Library
 
PANELISTS:
Willard McIntosh
Retired Police Officer
Columbus Division of Police
 
Joy Bivens
Deputy County Administrator of Health &
Human Service Agencies
Franklin County Board of Commissioners

Featured Book

White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son

by Tim Wise

In this revised version of his memoir, White Like Me, Tim Wise explores how racial identity and whiteness influence the lives of white Americans by examining how they have impacted his own life. He examines what it means to be white in a nation created for the benefit of those who are “white like him,” and how privilege seeps into every institutional arrangement, from education to employment to the justice system. Wise makes the case that racial inequity and white privilege are real and persistent threats to personal and collective well-being, but that resistance to white supremacy and racism is possible.

Check it out:

Registration Coming Soon

  • Virtual Author Talk

We held a virtual author talk on Monday, Aug. 15.

Registration Coming Soon

  • Virtual Book Club

We held a virtual book club on Tuesday, July 26. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book.

  • Virtual Panel Discussion

Tuesday, June 28

MODERATOR:
Dr. Anthony Wilson
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Columbus Metropolitan Library
 
PANELISTS:
Dr. Heidi Renate Ballard
Associate Professor, MPH
Department of Sociology,
Criminology and Justice Studies
Otterbein University
 
Tom Katzenmeyer
President & CEO
Greater Columbus Arts Council
 
Neal Semel
Owner
Diversity Matters LLC

Featured Book

So You Want to Talk About Race

by Ijeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy – from police brutality to the mass incarceration of African Americans – has made it impossible to ignore the issue of race. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Check it out:

  • Virtual Author Talk

We held a virtual author talk on Monday, May 16.

  • Virtual Book Club

We held a virtual book club on Tuesday, May 3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book.

  • Virtual Panel Discussion

Tuesday, April 5

MODERATOR:

Dr. Anthony Wilson
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Columbus Metropolitan Library

PANELISTS:
Matt Barnes
Anchor
NBC4
 
Joy Bivens
Deputy County Administrator and Agency Director
Franklin County Dept. of Job and Family Services
 
Robert W. Clark
Director of Public Safety
City of Columbus

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