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Focus on equity, and Wes Moore

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Kelly Firment and Yolanda Rushdan hosted a book discussion on September 23. Share your pics and comments, too.

I felt hopeful that people with such powerful voices and so many gifts are willing to take such great risks to make sure that change happens. That made me hopeful. But I also felt a lot of anger and embarrassment for myself and for this country. To me, this is the kind of book that you have to participate in a book club for, because you have to be able to unpack it with somebody, otherwise it really weighs on your heart. The thing that I enjoyed about the book is that it really showed how one person can have this ripple effect throughout the community. – Margie Lopez Waite at 9/23/2020 book discussion

The book circles are underway. In our third annual series of book discussions, Delawareans are now using Wes Moore’s Five Days as a stepping off point for deep dialogue about race and equity in our country.

The book tells the story of the days after Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore – from the perspectives of real people in the city – a business executive, a police officer, community activists, city councilman, and more. Through Wes’ book, we get a chance to hear the thoughts of many, all of whom want things to improve, but all of whom also see these challenges through their own lens.

Americans are seeking to confront our racial past, present and future. More of us are confronting our own role, our own opportunities, weaknesses, and biases. For me, I also come to this with a belief that the vast majority of us want to do the right thing, want to address the historical racism in the country, and and want to make change. But we don’t always know how to do that, have not done that yet, and recognize there is much yet to do. We owe it to our country’s future to lean in, reflect, learn, and be part of the solutions.

A colleague from the community foundation in Buffalo told the DCF Board recently that in their work on equity, they emphasize the importance of “calling people in to the conversation and the work, not calling people out [for their errors and weaknesses].” That’s how we hope this book helps the conversation. I hope this book contributes not just to the analysis, but also toward bringing people into the conversation, and inspiring the change we must see.

Wes will join us in a discussion on Thursday, November 19. We hope you will have read the book, talked with others about it, and are thinking about the change you can make before then. You can also join one of our larger book discussions – and can sign up on our website.

The 500 books we purchased for this event are, fortunately, already out in the hands of Delawareans. So we don’t have any more to send. But the state’s libraries have books to borrow (on-line, too), and the book is also available through on-line book portals. Please check it out, and join us on the 19th of November.

When you have your own book discussions, send us your observations, and photos, and we’ll share them as well. To do that, send comments to Kelly Sheridan (ksheridan@delcf.org).