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The Citadel Diversity Reading Program

Reading to learn about diverse experiences, cultures, etc.

So many books, so little time.

The Mission

In support of the President's Task Force for Advancing the Citadel's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, the Daniel Library and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council propose to initiate a campus-wide diversity reading program. The purpose of the program is to expand knowledge, understanding, and respect of diverse groups of people through shared reading and discussions. Diversity is defined broadly and includes those of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, ages, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, among other dimensions.

Objectives

  • Provide a safe space for Citadel affiliates to openly discuss and explore literature that highlight diverse voices and perspectives
  • Encourage individuals to reflect on personal biases and reduce conflicts towards different diverse people
  • Open additional opportunities for CGC and Veteran student inclusion in campus programming

Summary

Through shared readings and small group discussions, we hope to uncover biases and begin to reflect on and reduce conflicts toward and between diverse people. Readings will be chosen with the intent of supporting The Citadel's mission to educate principled leaders by offering insights about the many ways that diverse populations contribute to the success of our democratic society

Management

The Diversity Reading Program will be managed by librarian members and involved NCBI members. Individual members will be responsible for obtaining their own copies of the selected reading. Possible options to access titles include: the library, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

Meetings

We propose that one book per semester will be chosen for discussion. Four meetings will be scheduled for small discussion groups and large group meetings throughout the semester.

  • 1st Meeting: Beginning of the semester to introduce the chosen book and divide participants into smaller discussion groups (based on availability)
  • 2nd and 3rd Meeting: During the semester, smaller discussion groups will meet
  • 4th Meeting: Final meeting of the semester where all members come together to discuss their experiences, reflect on what they learned, and express future interests (food possibly available)

Participants will be encouraged to discuss topics on their own and/or use recommended discussion questions (provided by program managers) to guide their inquiry.

Online

A Facebook page will be set up to allow for more broad-ranging discussion across smaller groups as well as an opportunity to gather feedback from participants. A moderated blogger or Wordpress could also be available to facilitate deeper discussions. At the end of the semester, feedback will be solicited from participants regarding their responses to the book, how they might apply what they learned in various personal/professional contexts, and suggestions for related readings.

A Diversity Library Guide will be created and hosted on the library website. It will include book lists and resources for furthering knowledge and discussion.

Members

All campus employees and students, particularly Veteran and CGS students will be encouraged to participate in the reading program.

Suggested Titles:

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (2011) by Claude M. Steele

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (2013) by Mahzarin R. Banaji

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (2015) by Jill Leovy

The Other Wes Moore (2011) by Wes Moore

Aristotle and Dante (2012) by Benjamin Alire Saenz

A Distant Shore (2007) by Caryl Phillips

Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (2010) by Isabel Wilkerson

A Hope in the Unseen (1999) by Ron Suskin

The New Jim Crow (2012) by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West