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The R & R Reading Groups are structured around one of the central themes of the From Every Nation (FEN) document: Reconciliation and Restoration. Via poignant topics of a selected text, participants are given the opportunity to discuss racial justice issues in order to "become active agents of racial reconciliation." (FEN p. 29) Through self reflection individuals are empowered to work toward a restored, multicultural community.

Fall 2013 Book Group Selection

Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery by Michael Fosberg

Free books will be given to the first 10 to register. Register here by September 1, 2013.

It is altogether fitting that Michael Sidney Fosberg calls his memoir INCOGNITO: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY OF RACE AND SELF-DISCOVERY since his story is as old as that of Telemachus who, as I recall, in Homer's ODYSSEY searches for his father. Once again we are reminded that art mirrors life. Mr. Fosberg's story--and what a story it is--is about, in his 30's, finding his father. Raised in Waukegan, Illinois by his Caucasian mother and stepfather who adopted him, Fosberg grew up in a comfortable home with two siblings several years younger than he. (His artist sister Lora provides beautiful illustrations to this book.) He always felt that something was just not quite right as he was growing up, but he was unable to pin the problem down. When he learns that his parents are getting divorced, he asks his mother for the name and possible city where he might find his birth father. He basically knows nothing about his father except that he and his mother got a divorce many years ago. Armed with 7 names from the Detroit telephone directory, he calls the first name on the list, and in a beautiful twist of fate, the man turns out to be his dad: "I have always loved you and thought of you a lot," his father tells him and also that he is African American. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of discovery as Mr. Fosberg finds and meets his relatives from his father's side of the family.

Mr. Fosberg's odyssey is not without pain. His task is to somehow navigate the often difficult waters between his mother, his brother and sister, his adopted father of Swedish heritage, his mother's family--his maternal grandfather was an Armenian who had been a slave to the Turks before fleeing to France and then coming to the U. S.-- and his newly discovered African American relatives...(Amazon.com)
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Spring 2014 Book Group Selection

Coming Together in the 21st Century: the Bible's Message in an Age of Diversity by Curtiss Paul DeYoung

Free books will be given to the first 10 to register. Register here by February 7, 2014.

Coming Together in the 21st Century is a fascinating set of essays that wrestle with biblical and theological issues around racial diversity and the history of both implicit and explicit euro-christian interpretations of racial, cultural and religious superiority. At one level, the contributors' reading of the biblical text is simply more accurate than traditional interpretations that simply ignore race in favor of a simplistic presumption of euro-western supremacy. Yet at a more important level, this text represents a perspective that is theologically and socially much healthier for both communities of color and for white Christians. --Dr. Tink Tinker (wazhazhe, Osage Nation), Clifford Baldridge Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO


Summer 2014 Book Group Selection

The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir by Michele Norris

Free books will be given to the first 10 to register. Register here by May 30, 2014.

A profoundly moving and deeply personal memoir by the co-host of National Public Radio’s flagship program All Things Considered.
 
While exploring the hidden conversation on race unfolding throughout America in the wake of President Obama’s election, Michele Norris discovered that there were painful secrets within her own family that had been willfully withheld. These revelations—from her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer to her maternal grandmother’s job as an itinerant Aunt Jemima in the Midwest—inspired a bracing journey into her family’s past, from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South.
 
The result is a rich and extraordinary family memoir—filled with stories that elegantly explore the power of silence and secrets—that boldly examines racial legacy and what it means to be an American.



Past Reading Selections

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk

Becoming an Anti-Racist Church: Journeying Toward Wholeness by Joseph Bardnt

The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America by Dr. Joseph Graves

Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Priviledged Son by Tim Wise

Teachable Moments: Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue by Steve Robbins

Building a House for Diversity: How a Fable about a Giraffe & an Elephant Offers New Strategies for Today's Workforce by R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr.

Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide by Dr. Barbara Trepagnier

The One in the Many: Christian Identity in a Multicultural World edited by Thomas R. Thompson

Racism and God-Talk : A Latino/a Perspective by Rubén Rosario Rodriguez

Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity
by Edward Gilbreath

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post-Civil Rights Generation by Adam Taylor

Neither Jew Nor Gentile by George Yancey

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

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