The Inclusive Reading Club kicks off September with the topic of voter suppression
During the last academic year, the Inclusive Reading Club (IRC) was born on campus at Salve Regina. With its founding, members across the Salve Regina community began a rich monthly tradition of readings and discussions into tough subjects like slavery, police brutality, Native American heritage, immigration and so much more.
The IRC is now back for the 2020-21 academic year with some great virtual programs, guest moderators and themes that will resonate with what the country is currently facing as it enters an exceptionally tense election season. The first IRC will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. through Zoom. All staff, faculty and students are invited to attend virtually. Visit the library’s calendar of events to register through the library’s scheduling system.
“The mission of the IRC is to engage members of the Salve Regina community in exploring issues of diversity and multiculturism through short readings and discussions,” said Gretchen Sotomayer, special programs and instruction librarian at McKillop Library and co-founder of the IRC. “By coming together every month in a safe and inclusive environment, participants are challenged to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of differing identities, cultures and communities.”
The IRC’s first meeting in September, will be exploring the issue of voter suppression in the United States. As the country heads into this election season, it’s important to examine why some communities are disproportionately affected by tactics such as voter roll purges, changes to voter ID requirements, the rigging of rules and gerrymandering.
IRC will read excerpts from Stacey Abrams’ new book, “Our Time is Now,” specifically focusing on how the census shapes America, while other selected materials will explore how some communities are confronting acts of voter suppression. The readings are posted here to get started for September.
“The 2020 circumstances have been around for decades, and as a black woman, I can’t escape it,” said Rose Albert, assistant director of The Office of Multicultural Programs and Retention and co-founder of the IRC. “This is my reality, and those topics affect my identity.”
When people are reading, they can take some time to post their thoughts on the IRC’s online bulletin board. This online bulletin board also includes links to readings, optional resources, and more information about the Inclusive Reading Club. IRC participants can also use this online board for posting anonymously — not only prior to September’s meeting, but also during the meetings, and IRC’s moderators will do their best to incorporate comments into the conversation.
As someone is reading, here are some questions to consider:
- What were some of the key takeaways for you on how the census shapes America?
- Were you aware of voter suppression and its power to affect voting outcomes in the United States?
- How can we combat voter suppression?
- Have you, or someone close to you, experienced some form of voter suppression?
- Are you registered to vote? Have you requested a vote-by-mail ballot?
The readings are posted here to get started for September, and visit the library’s calendar of events to register for the IRC meeting through the library’s scheduling system. Please reach out to either Gretchen Sotomayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rose Albert (email@example.com) for more information.
Featured photo is from a past IRC in February 2020.