New Campus Book Club Provides "A New Read on Diversity"

Faculty, staff and students at Eastern Kentucky University are getting “A New Read on Diversity.”

That’s the subtitle for the EKU Diversity Book Club, a new initiative aimed at addressing societal issues and concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The club, co-sponsored by the University Diversity Committee and the University Diversity Office, will hold its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge of the Keen Johnson Building. EKU President Michael Benson will open the Oct. 8 meeting.

The club will continue to meet the second Wednesday of every month, at the same time and location. The meetings are open to all members of the University community, and refreshments are provided.

“I am always looking for new ways to enhance diversity at EKU, and this will be a unique opportunity to address diversity in a way that it had not been shared previously,” said Dr. Sandra Moore, special advisor to the president and chief diversity officer. “Participants will benefit from reading books that are written by authors from diverse backgrounds and from reading books that convey the thoughts, sentiments and life experiences of those from the underrepresented community.”

The format will be open group discussion, not lecture style, Moore emphasized.

“It is important that people are comfortable in their surroundings to deal with deep and sometimes personal issues as reflected in the readings,” Moore said. “People are more likely to participate in a book club of any type if they have the understanding that it will not be structured like a classroom or take on the format of a lecture-style environment.

“In addressing diversity, it is important that we ‘level the playing field,’” Moore continued, “and let all participants know that what they have to say is of value and has merit based upon the readings and discussions.”

Books for the club have been selected through “an active process that involved many people,” Moore said, including Diversity Office staff, the University Diversity Committee (co-chaired by Gladys Miller and Dr. Lisa Day) and the EKU Diversity Planning Council (chaired by Moore). An effort was made to align choices to specific months that carry some theme related to diversity.

For a listing of books and discussion dates, visit www.diversity.eku.edu. Faculty, staff and students can participate as frequently as their schedules allow throughout the academic year and will get to choose the final book to be read and discussed.

The books will be free for all Club participants, courtesy of the Diversity Office.

“I did not want the cost of the book to be a reason for people to not participate, especially our students,” Moore said.

Moore called the EKU Diversity Book Club “a good fit for the University and higher education. It follows the concepts of ‘each one teach one,’ ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ and ‘teachable moments.’”

Because of limited seating, participation in the Club is first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Paula Hansford in the University Diversity Office at paula.hansford@eku.edu or 859-622-6587.

Published on September 22, 2014

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