One Topic One Town: A Journey Towards Dismantling Racism

The Swampscott Public Library together with S.U.R.E (Swampscott Unites Respects & Embraces Diversity) is proud to bring you  One Topic One Town: A Journey Towards Dismantling Racism.

Racism is a problem in our country, and no city or town is exempt from it. Our goal is not only to raise awareness about systemic racism in our society, but to take a look at ourselves, at our history, and to elevate the voices of our brothers and sisters of color.

We will start this project in September with a selection of five books, with an age range of child to adult. You may read just one book, or all if you prefer. There is no limit. Following that, we will lay out each month a series of programs around the books, including discussions on the books themselves, lectures, movies, history, podcasts, and presentations. Hopefully in the process we will learn about ourselves and how to be allies to not only the black and brown people in our community, but beyond it as well.

First, let’s read some books!

The books are now ready for checkout! Click on the titles to place a hold!

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Climate Justice: Finding Equitable Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Join Nia Keith, Mass Audubon’s Climate Change Education Manager, in an interactive presentation via Zoom on climate justice on Wednesday, April 14th at 7 pm.   Climate change is the number one existential threat to humanity and the planet, but some communities are more vulnerable than others. Where does social justice and climate change overlap? How does identity (race, gender, age, etc.) influence the way a person will be impacted by climate change? And how can we, as concerned community members, fight climate change in a way that is just and equitable for all?

Nia Keith is a science educator with more than 15 years’ experience working in nonprofits and educational institutions. Her career has taken her from trail construction in the White Mountains to providing engineering education through the Museum of Science. Dedicated to cultivating diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all environments, Nia has spent her career motivating people to address environmental, social, and economic issues. Her current role as the statewide Climate Change Education Manager for Mass Audubon, allows her to work in many settings, including classrooms, nature reserves, and online. Please register here or call 781-596-8867.

Author Alex Zamalin to Speak

Alex Zamalin, author of Against Civility: The Hidden Racism in our Obsession with Civility will be here via Zoom on Monday, April 19th at 7 pm to discuss his book. The idea and the practice of civility have always been used to silence dissent, repress political participation, and justify violence upon people of color. Although we are told that we need to be more thoughtful and to “reach across the aisle”, when we talk about race in America, Zamalin posits that civility maintains rather than disrupts racial injustice.

Please register here or call 781-596-8867

Book Discussion: How to Be an Antiracist

We will have a Zoom book discussion on Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist on Thursday, April 29th at 7 pm. We have several copies available!

Please register here or call 781-596-8867

Conversations about Race & Racism

Reference Librarian Janina Majeran will host the group and lead discussions over Zoom. The goal is to create a safe space to reflect and discuss how media, movies, books, magazines, shows, and policies may skew our perceptions and beliefs toward people of color. We may read a book or two and listen to a couple of podcasts as well!  You do not have to join every meeting, but rather join us when you can. Questions that we’ll cover will be on our website under Programs. 

All that we ask is that you come with an open mind and an open heart. No inflammatory language will be allowed.

Our next meeting will be Monday April 12th at 7:30 pm. Register here.

We will discuss this article from the NYT: