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


between-the-world-and-meBook Discussion: Between The World and Me
Saturdays, January 5, 12 and 26, 9:15 - 11 AM
Roslindale Library

We will be discussing Ta-Nehisi Coates's ground-breaking book, Between the World and Me, which explores uncomfortable truths about race in America. The discussions will be led by local educator Josh Frank and books will be available to borrow from the Roslindale Library soon.

Between The World and Me
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and the current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me, clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

circle-312343_640Dialogue 2 Action
Thursdays, January 10, 24 & 31, 6:30 - 8 PM
Roslindale Library

Dialogue 2 Action is a facilitated race and equity discussion series with a four-session curriculum. Participants should plan to attend all the sessions. The fourth session date will be determined by the participants.  The facilitator for the Roslindale Library series will be Samuel R.W. Ellison, a senior administrator at The Partnership, Inc., an organization that works with organizations in all sectors to build racially and ethnically diverse leadership pipelines.

peoples historyBook Discussion: A People's History of the United States
Saturdays, February 2, 9, 23 & March 2, 9:15 - 11 AM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss Howard Zinn's classic on the version of American history you don't learn in school! The discussions will be led by local educator Josh Frank and books will be available to borrow from the library soon.

A People's History of the United States
By Howard Zinn

With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this edition of the classic national bestseller chronicles American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official narrative taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.

Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

NikaElugardoA Conversation with State Representative Nika Elugardo
Thursday, February 7, 6:30 - 8 PM
Roslindale Library

The Friends invited Nika Elugardo to speak to the community about her legislative agenda.

Nika Elugardo has more than 20 years of experience in community and economic development with public, private, and nonprofit leaders in communities of color, including serving as Jamaica Plain Liaison and Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz; becoming the founding director of MassSaves, an economic justice collaborative jointly sponsored by community organizations and financial institutions; and founding the research and consulting departments at the Emmanuel Gospel Center. These departments developed breakthrough models and fostered collaboration in education, youth development and violence prevention, gender justice, and anti-trafficking in Boston and beyond. Elugardo earned her bachelors of science from MIT in Urban Planning, a master's in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with concentrations in political advocacy, leadership, and peace and security, and a Juris Doctor from Boston University Law School with externships in tax law, human rights, and corporate social responsibility. Elugardo is the State Representative for the 15th Suffolk District, including Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, and Roslindale.