Race and Inclusion

Racial Justice and Inclusiveness Committee

The Friends of Roslindale Branch Library have formed a Racial Justice and Inclusiveness Committee to plan educational events, discussions, and presentations related to race, ethnicity, religion, and culture.  We also created a special list of books related to these topics.

If you are interested in joining our committee, email info@friendsofroslindalelibrary.org.


Schedule of Events


evictedbookcoverBook Discussion: Evicted
Saturdays, October 13, 20 & 27
9:15 - 11 AM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss Matthew Desmond's Evicted, a book that looks at poverty and housing injustice in America and how we can address these issues better in our community.  The discussion will be led by local educator Josh Frank and books are available to borrow from the Roslindale Library now.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
By Matthew Desmond

In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

teensPodcast Discussion: Busing in Boston
Saturdays, November 3 & 10
9:15-11 AM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss the state of race and education in Boston by revisiting the city's busing initiative and the METCO program. Parents and teachers of current BPS and METCO students, as well as former students, are especially welcome to participate. The discussions will be led by local educator Josh Frank. Please listen to Code Switch's December 7, 2016 podcast, Audie and the Not-So-Magic School Bus, prior to our discussion.

town-2430571_640Housing Justice: What's Your Vision? A Teach-in
Thursday, November 8, 6 - 8 pm
Roslindale Library

Join your neighbors to learn and discuss your rights and responsibilities. Find your place in efforts to stop displacement and to promote true affordability for everyone in our community. Guest Speakers will be Lisa Owens of City Life / Vida Urbana and George Lee, Jr, Housing Justice Activist. Co-sponsored by RISE: Roslindale IS For Everyone