This isn’t just a conversation about ending racism, it is a conversation about how we learn to live our lives WITHOUT racism. If all you know is oppressive systems, all you will do is perpetuate those systems. We must learn new systems, new ways of being and acting human. This book club will challenge you to think about how you have embodied white supremacy and will invite you to explore other ways of being human.
We encourage you to participate in the whole series. Each book builds upon the other, giving us a deeper level of understanding. But feel free to join us for one book or any you’re able to join us for! And don’t worry if you haven’t completed the book, the conversation will be worth your while. All discussions will be via Zoom through a link sent to registered participants. We will be guided through this series by Renee Cardarelle, who holds a graduate degree in Social Responsibility and has been facilitating these conversations in rural Minnesota for over 5 years. Guest facilitators may also be joining us.
Look for the registration link under each book below. Free to MN NOW members. If you are not a member, a $5 contribution per registration is suggested, or $15 to become a member. All are welcome regardless of gender, gender identity, age, race, religion, choice of pet, etc.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Sunday, May 16
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Our first book takes a deep dive into how white supremacy permeates our culture and informs our everyday thinking. It challenges us to reflect deeply and explore the ways these systems have impacted us, and how we have learned behaviors that reinforce this culture. The book should be read over a period of time, to give you time to reflect and explore how white supremacy is unconsciously present throughout our lives.
“Me and White Supremacy helps you take the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases.”
Facilitators for this book will be Renee Cardarelle and LaToya Jones Burrell. (see bios below)
Sunday, July 18
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Our second read takes us beyond how white supremacy culture dictates our lives and informs our decision making, and moves us towards exploring other ways of seeing the world. We hear from queer, black, feminist adrienne maree brown, who shares her insights into the work of anti-racist activism. As the author says, this book is “a cluster of thoughts in development, observations of existing patterns, and questions of how we apply the brilliance of the world around us to our efforts to coexist in and with this world…This book is for people who want to radically change the world.”
For all of you who want to do the work of radically changing the world. We welcome you!
Your facilitator is Renee Cardarelle. (see bio below) Guest facilitator to be announced.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Sunday, September 19
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Our third book is a challenging read. It raises emotions in all who read it and can be difficult to complete. The book challenges our understanding of how we have built our culture and our society. Like Me and White Supremacy it asks us to reflect on how we have normalized oppressive systems and called them good. The author, Isabel Wilkerson, explores “how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings” This book will challenge you and make you angry.
We hope you will experience the emotions the book raises and allow yourself to reflect on them, then join us to discuss the deep inequities of our everyday lives.
With Braiding Sweet Grass we move away from focusing on what is wrong with our culture and move toward exploring a new way of viewing the world. Robin Wall Kimmerer brings us a refreshing view of the world, challenging our preconceived notions. She notes the importance of this reflection, “for only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth and learning to give our own gifts in return.”
This fourth book helps us remember that our normalizing systems dismiss and downplay the importance of other understandings of the world. It reminds us that until we can embrace a different way of seeing our communities, society and our world, we will continue to repeat the same patterns of oppression. Come join us and learn to embrace those things which feel uncomfortable but challenge us to think broader.
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
Sunday, January 16, 2022
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Resmaa Menakem, a Minneapolis based therapist, helps us recognize the deep trauma white supremacy culture has created in black, brown and white bodies. He helps us explore how this trauma impacts the way our body moves, breaths, thinks. If you haven’t had the opportunity to learn about somatics, we hope you will join us.
Be prepared to do some somatic work as you read this book. It introduces you to understanding the way your body stores trauma and pulls up instinctive reactions to uncomfortable and fearful situations. It may cause some uncomfortable reactions and bring up fear you hadn’t realized you hold. Do not let this stop you from working through the book and exploring the ways in which you have embodied white supremacy culture.
White Rage by Carol Anderson
Sunday, March 20, 2022
7:00 – 8:30 pm
“The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement. It is not the mere presence of black people that is the problem; rather, it is blackness with ambition, with drive, with purpose, with aspirations, and with demands for full and equal citizenship. It is blackness that refuses to accept subjugation, to give up. A formidable array of policy assaults and legal contortions has consistently punished black resilience, black resolve.”
With this quote, Carol Anderson, helps us recognize how we cling to our systems. It is not the mere presence of people who are different, but the idea that they will take what we feel is ours that invokes rage. This is the very idea that drives hatred in white communities against new immigrants and black neighbors. It is the fear that what I have will be taken from me. It is a raw and primitive need to protect. It is in every single one of us and it needs to be recognized and challenged. We hope reading White Rage will allow us to explore this reality.
Our Facilitator: Renee Cardarelle
Renee Cardarelle has twenty plus years of experience in working on community building and social justice. She is a non-profit leader, a community building facilitator, a racial justice practitioner, an educator and a lifelong learner. Besides her practical, lived education, Renee has a Master’s degree in Social Responsibility and an ABD in Public Service and Management from Hamline University where she explores civic engagement and local government. She focuses on creating a world that is healthy, thriving and healing. Renee was born, raised and lives in the wonderful world of rural Minnesota.
May’s Guest Facilitator: LaToya Jones Burrell
LaToya Jones Burrell is the Executive Director of the Anderson Foundation. She leads and manages the activity of the Foundation, with continued involvement and support from the family. She is also Zinpro Corporation’s global diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) champion, working with the Leadership Team to help provide experiences and resources to advance Zinpro on its DEI journey. LaToya has extensive higher education and legal experience and was previously Dean of Graduate Education & Accreditation for North Central University in Minneapolis, MN where she was also an Associate Professor. LaToya has a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration. She is a licensed attorney in the states of Minnesota and Louisiana and a published author, recently writing a book on harmonious racial reconciliation entitled “Be Bold: How to Prepare Your Heart and Mind for Racial Reconciliation.” She is also on the Board of Directors for People Serving People, a Minnesota non-profit shelter for families experiencing homelessness.