The Monticello Diversity Committee recently received funding from the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative in the amount of $2,000 to host a community book read of Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by author Jason Reynolds. The book read and discussions will take place during National Black History Month in February.
Individuals interested in participating in the book read can contact the Monticello Public Library for more information on how to participate. Grant funding and the Monticello Diversity Committee helped pay for the book club kit which is being managed by the GRRL system. The kit includes 10 books, one Large Print book and a study guide. There are a limited number of books available for reservation. Additional books will be provided to both Middle and High Schools.
The book, Stamped: A Remix, reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an anti-racist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers.Community members will be invited to read the book and take part in zoom discussion sessions with the option of evening sessions from 7 to 8 pm on February 11 and 18 or morning sessions from 11 am to noon on February 17 and 24. The book read will come to an end on February 25 at 7 pm with a video conversation about the book with Ron Harris, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Minneapolis (Minneapolis - Resilient Cities Network). Ron Harris has an extensive background in public work, and focuses on three main pillars: racial equity, economic inclusion and environmental justice. Prior to his current position he was the Senior Advisor to the Minneapolis City Council President. The Monticello Diversity Group has been active since 2008 and is composed of community members, business and institutional leaders and school representatives. Its focus is to make Monticello a more welcoming and inclusive community for all. It has sponsored a number of activities in the past including book reads and speakers. The group is also working with school instructors to bring ideas around inclusive environments to students. This book read is its latest initiative and will include community-wide book read and conversations for adults as well as an optional school-based book read.
The group is also offering the book read to people throughout Wright and Sherburne Counties and welcomes participation from people who live beyond Monticello. All community members, no matter their experience or knowledge, are welcome to be a part of this initiative.