World Day of Social Justice -February 20th!

We’ve talked many times on this blog about our social and racial justice section. So, this month, we would like to talk about a few new additions to our collection. Some of them are new publications and others are just new to Warner Library, but all of them have been added to our collection within the last year.

Diversity and Inclusion in Libraries: A Call to Action and Strategies for Success

edited by Shannon D. Jones and Beverly Murphy.

When library director Joy Dlugosz created our social and racial justice collection, it came from a need to respond to the social movement taking place across the United States. As things progressed, it has become imperative for Warner Library to consider how we can do more for the Eastern community. What is our role in the institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Social justice is not just a buzzword, it is an important part of the best practices we implement as part of our collection and staff development.

Editors Shannon D. Jones and Beverly Murphy both have backgrounds as health sciences librarians. As nursing is one of the more popular majors at Eastern and the field is recognizing how to better treat diverse populations, this book is an addition that is very needed.

Mistakes We Have Made: Implications for Social Justice Educators

edited by Bre Evans-Santiago

In this era of racial reckoning that we are living in, part of moving towards progress is acknowledging that harm has been done. Even sometimes by the most well intentioned of people. Some social justice movements have suffered and seen internal strife throughout history because their push towards equality left some groups out. That is why it is important not to simply seek equality, but strive towards equity to address the systemic injustices that certain demographics disproportionately face. Dr. Evans-Santiago intended for this book to connect with her readers and for instructors to connect with their students on a personal level. The part of this book that is especially valuable is the reflection section at the end of each chapter. It goes beyond reading comprehension to ensure that its audience has these skills instilled in them.

Dr. Evans-Santiago is a chair and assistant professor in the Teacher Education Department at California State University Bakersfield. As education is another popular major at Eastern, it is important that students are equipped to work in diverse classrooms. There are many textbooks which provide important lessons on how to implement a curriculum or make a lesson plan, but it is harder while no less important to ensure that one has the skills to make a classroom inclusive and support diverse needs.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

by Isabel Wilkerson

Although not a relatively new book, it has only had a home at Warner Library for a little over a year now. The Warmth of Other Suns is a sociological history of the Great Migration. Various sources assign different start dates, but there is a general consensus of a post-reconstruction push from the southern United States to northern urban areas. Many African-Americans fled an economically depressed and racially segregated South for hope of a better life and to join family who they had been separated from. For those interested in African-American history, urban studies, or are a reader who best tackles a long nonfiction work when it is written in a narrative style, this is the book for you.

Author Isabel Wilkerson was the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. Her background shines through in the way that The Warmth of Other Suns is crafted in that she makes archival sources come to life. The narrative also reads like a piece of hard-hitting journalism, as a story that has a tangible influence on current life that has an undercurrent of hidden facts and figures that- when laid out neatly- form a bigger picture that has changed the shape of present reality.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter, and How They Changed America

by Jennifer Cobbina

When I try to remember the summer of 2020, the days blur together in a seemingly endless haze of scrolling through images of protest on social media or being glued to the tv watching something burn until a family member walked in the room and grabbed the remote from me or slammed my laptop shut. Amplified by quarantine, this wasn’t the only season of my life to pass by in such a way. After the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, I had watched metaphorical pots similarly boil over. These points in time were the start of a racial reckoning that this country is still living through. Although the nation may not have noticed then, it is impossible to ignore now. Written through interviews with local residents, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot provides critical insight into the lived experiences of people in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD. It explores these environments where residents feel that they are treated as criminals, and live with a sense of inevitability towards having negative experiences with the police and being impacted by the criminal justice system. An important part of her narrative is police reform in response to mass protests. To analyze the future of this movement, it is necessary to assess the interactions between protestors and police, media coverage, and city response towards what they perceive is the motivation behind these events.

An associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, Dr. Cobbina sees facts and figures about policing as an integral part of the narrative that she constructs. Given that much of the conversation around prison and policing involves complicated data analyzes from a point of what do these numbers tell us about the degree of a systemic issue- she frames it as: how do these data points paint a picture of someone’s life and many predominantly Black communities?

Surviving a Dangerous Sermon

by Frank A. Thomas

The highly anticipated sequel to Preaching a Dangerous Sermon has arrived here at Warner Memorial Library! The first book in this series introduces church leaders on the concepts and skills needed to speak on social issues. While it is important to shake things up, that risks resulting in a congregation whose faith has been shaken. Especially when doing so requires challenging implicit biases. After such a message has been shared, where does the church go from here? Surviving a Dangerous Sermon is the guide to that. The Bible contains many stories of Christians who face danger for their beliefs. Therefore persecution is an important theme to understand while exercising caution not to misappropriate it. In a vulnerable state, sometimes people imagine that their discomfort is greater than the struggles of those that prejudice tells us to discriminate against. Thomas masterfully tackles a dilemma that all who have ever stood behind a pulpit and looked over their flock have found themselves in- wanting to be on the moral high ground and in pursuit of righteousness while needing to come to faith from a place of humility.

Dr. Thomas is the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. His background in African-American ministry makes his work a great resource for students in Palmer Seminary programs at Eastern. For everyone, it is important for all to take the necessary steps to foster a diverse congregation.

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