The Camas Public Library is pleased to announce racial equity as its first annual ‘Read for Change’ theme. Launching next week, the community reads initiative will feature speakers, exclusive access to a local documentary, discussion groups, a book giveaway, and racial equity community lending library—all at a safe social distance.
Starting Monday, August 17th, patrons can contact the Library to request a free copy ofHow to be an Antiracist and/or Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, both by Ibram X. Kendi (the latter coauthored for young readers by Jason Reynolds). There is a limit of one of each title per household, while supplies last. Library staff will treat the items like a curbside pickup request and place the book(s) at the 4th Ave entrance at an appointed time. When the recipient is finished with the book, the Library suggests they pass it along to a neighbor or friend. All books have been purchased and donated by the Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library (FFCL).
Read for Change will feature two keynote speakers to bookend the 12-week program. Portland-based equity speaker Alexis Braly James hosts Building Bridges: Race as a Social Construct on Tuesday, August 25th at 5:30pm. At 6pm on Thursday, November 12th in partnership with Humanities Washington, the Library will host Timothy Golden for Equality on Trial: Race, Fairness, and the US Supreme Court. Both speakers will present via Zoom.
Between the two keynote speakers, the Library will offer exclusive online access to local filmmaker Melissa Lowery’s documentary Black Girl in Suburbia. In addition, community facilitators are teaming up with Library staff to host book discussion groups for both titles, and the Library is also adapting several of their regular programs to tackle racial equity. Finally, a small “take-one-leave-one” type lending library at the Library’s curbside pickup with racial equity themed books donated by the community will round out the offerings. All details can be found on the Library’s website at www.camaslibrary.org.
“We are thrilled to kick off the inaugural Read for Change program with such an important theme. We have already had incredible community support, just in the planning stages. We knew we had to adapt and make this work in a virtual environment because the timing is so crucial. Providing a place for community conversations around race is key,” said Connie Urquhart, Library Director.