Partnership for anti-racism book discussion

Library, schools partner for anti-racism book discussion
Posted on 07/08/2020
 Picture of STAMPED book jacket

The Town of Irondequoit, East Irondequoit and West Irondequoit school districts, and Irondequoit Public Library have partnered for a community-wide book discussion on the history of racism. The organizations will work in partnership to facilitate conversations that will foster a greater understanding of racism and encourage conversations around structural racism and barriers to equality.

The library and school districts will work together to provide community members e-book, downloadable audio books, and traditional print versions of STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. This is a young readers’ adaptation of Kendi’s award winning book. The partnership will organize book discussions in small groups with students, their families and all interested residents.

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“It is not enough for each of us to declare that we are not racist, we must take affirmative steps towards being anti-racist,’ said Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley. “I am hopeful that this effort will foster a much-needed conversation about how we can each take an active role in creating a more equitable future for everyone who calls Irondequoit home. I would like to thank the districts and the library for making this effort possible.”

Said West Irondequoit Superintendent, Dr. Aaron Johnson: "Fostering an antiracist culture in Irondequoit is a shared responsibility and this joint book study is the first of many steps to create dialogue and opportunities to learn, reflect, and grow. We must come together to ensure our children develop open hearts and minds that fill our community with love and eliminate hate and discrimination. Thank you to the many allies involved in promoting this work."

Both schools will provide 30 district employees who will be trained to facilitate discussion groups, and also purchase books for distribution to students and families. The Irondequoit Library will purchase and provide e-book and audiobooks versions of STAMPED and provide hard copies of the book to be distributed through the Irondequoit Community Cupboard and the town's extensive network Little Free Library neighborhood network.

The Community Book Discussion will be held via Zoom on Aug. 18 from 6 PM to 8:30.

“This community-wide effort to examine structural racism and its impact is an example of why I am a proud Irondequoit resident,” said Irondequoit Public Library Board of Trustees President Collene Burns. “The Library is grateful to the East and West Irondequoit School Districts for their leadership and is committed to delivering the necessary resources and support to ensure this is a prominent, ongoing discussion in Irondequoit.”

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring our community together to learn and grow as a group of individuals who are committed to end racism. What we hope to accomplish in Irondequoit will likely help others lead this work too and that is the power of a movement," said East Irondequoit Superintendent, Mary Grow.