Bridge Building, Intersectionality and Inclusion
R.A.D.A. - Read. Awareness. Dialogue. Action.
Reading for social consciousness, to exchange ideas and promote discussion through books and community sharing.
Our mission: Read to raise our social consciousness; to exchange ideas, understandings, and experiences; and to discuss actions individuals and communities can take to address problems we are facing. Each component of the name clearly outlines what our community wanted, filling a need that empowered communities to speak in a trusted environment. Of the four aspects of the mission, the action component is perhaps the most important. Time is set aside at each discussion to address ways to take action in a form that makes sense to the participant. Our desire is to inspire participants to be the change they wish to see in their community
The book club model is used to develop the foundation of the discussion and take it a step further by providing a space to unpack specific social issues and incorporate elements of community engagement. The discussions are open to everyone whether they read the book or not.
As a committee we allow current events to guide how we determine the topic of the discussion which ultimately informs the book selection process. Without a dedicated budget we rely heavily on the library’s collection and draw exclusively from titles we already own that meet specific criteria: 1) fits the topic, 2) published in the last five years, 3) at least three or more copies available in the system and 4) written in an accessible style.
The committee also actively solicits the opinions of the hosting branch, and their representative has final say on the book selected.
Early in the planning stages of R.A.D.A. we realized as a committee that we wanted the discussions to delve past the surface and push the envelope with topics that could be viewed as provocative, but were a reality for many of the customers we serve. When you put a group of people in a room who are passionate about social issues, a lively, and sometimes heated, discussion takes place.