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>  News Releases >   2003 >   September

Diversity groups start

Posted 09/19/03, by Amanda Weatherman

Two reading groups, film group to meet in winter; selections about access to education

Dartmouth will again host the diversity reading and film groups this year, which will focus on the theme of access to education. The groups are sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ended segregation in public schools in 1954.

The groups will either read fiction or nonfiction books or watch films (two documentaries, two feature films) to explore access to education for minorities, women and those with disabilities. All the groups will read the memoir Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968) by Anne Moody, in which the author discusses her life under segregation, remembers moments in the struggle for equal civil rights, and her determination to obtain an education. Moody grew up poor and black in rural Mississippi, attended segregated schools, and during her college years began taking on issues of social justice, starting with agitating for safer cafeteria food. She was one of the original protestors at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Jackson, Miss., where white counter-protestors tried to put a noose around her neck and the necks of the other black activists with her. Her name was on a Ku Klux Klan "wanted" list. Her uncle was murdered, apparently by racists, and she couldn't return home because of her involvement in the civil rights movement. Moody wrote the memoir when she was 28.

The reading and film groups will meet regularly, from December to May, and are scheduled so that people who want to join a reading group and a film group may do so. After reading Coming of Age in Mississippi, the groups will read or watch selections tailored to their genre.

The nonfiction group will read:

  • From the Deep Woods to Civilization: Chapters in the Autobiography of an Indian, by Charles Eastman (1977)
  • Helen Keller: A Life, by Dorothy Herrmann (1998)
  • I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner-City, by Salome Thomas-El (2003)
  • The Ditchdigger's Daughters, by Yvonne S. Thornton (1996)

The fiction group will read:

  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez (1991)
  • The Human Stain, by Philip Roth (2000)
  • The White Boy Shuffle, by Paul Beatty (1996)
  • When the Emperor was Divine, by Julie Otsuka (2002)

The film group will watch:

  • Eyes on the Prize (1987, documentary)
  • Fear and Learning at Hoover Elementary (1996, documentary)
  • Real Women Have Curves (2002, feature)
  • Stand and Deliver (1988, feature based on a true story)

The groups are open to all Dartmouth employees, are free, and books and films will be provided, as will funds for refreshments at the meetings. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity will mail invitations in late September. Registration is due Friday, Oct. 10. For more information call Connie Bellavance at 646-3197.

-By Amanda Weatherman

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