Fall 2020 Book Report
Those who know me personally know I love to read. I once created a Facebook album (back when those were a thing) just of photos of me reading. Early in the pandemic, I even recreated some classic book covers with whatever I could find around my house. So when we decided that one of OCE’s new opportunities for 2020 would be action book clubs, I was in!
Action book clubs, or ABCs, (which you can start yourself [pdf]), are virtual communities in which the readers come together to not only learn about the social issues but also engage in critical reflection and civic action.
What does that look like?
This fall I facilitated two ABCs: disability and veterans’ experiences. Both included six to eight members, some of whom came with direct connection to the topic while others came with no connection other than their wish to know more. Over the four meetings that each ABC had this fall, we shared our experiences, built connections, and challenged our own assumptions. We’ve also begun planning our actions for the spring. For a quick glimpse into one of our conversations, here’s a snippet of the posts from our disability in media Padlet:
Want to know more about what inspired our conversations? Here are the reading lists from both ABCs.
Disability Book Club
- Haben Girma’s talk at William & Mary [CC] (2020)
- ‘What’s So Scary About Disability‘ – overview history of portrayals of disabled people
- ‘Five Common Harmful Representations of Disability’ – and alternatives for each trope
- How the Media is Failing the Disabled Community
- Stereotypes About People with Disabilities – a broader overview from Disability History Museum
- How 2018 Horror Films Explored Disability
- Olmstead Decision Explained (3m) [CC] (2019)
- The Promise of Olmstead: 15 Years Later (15m) [CC] (2020)
- Disability Visibility Podcast: Housing Ep (30m) [transcript available] (2019)
- The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective (2010)
- Disability Law Center Housing Resources
Veterans Book Club
- Veterans History Project – Library of Congress
- Military Stories from StoryCorps
- ‘Coming Home to Damaging Stereotypes’ – NY Times, 2015
- Overview of Permission to Speak Freely Series – 2016; you can also watch all the mini-episodes.
- ‘How The Media’s Narrow Portrayal of Service Members Does the Military a Disservice’ – Task & Purpose 2018
- Bad Voodoos’s War (56m) [CC] PBS (and other films to consider watching)
If you’re interested in these action book clubs, I invite you to join us this spring. I will continue to facilitate our disability and veterans group, and I will be offering a third ABC focused on racial segregation in housing, including working with the Mapping Prejudice Project. Just fill out this quick interest form.
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