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'One Read Eau Claire' monthly book discussion series kicks off Feb. 8

Uniting Bridges, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the city of Eau Claire are sponsoring monthly book discussions based around helping the community become more inclusive of difference.

The discussion series, titled “One Read Eau Claire,” will feature 12 books, one-to-two per month, for 12 months, on 15 different topics of importance in Eau Claire, as nominated by citizens at the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Eau Claire. The Visit Eau Claire Experience Center at Pablo Center at the Confluence, the Chippewa Valley Museum and the L.E. Phillips Public Library will host the discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Community members are welcome to join the discussion groups even if they have not completed the featured books.

The first group will be Feb. 8, from 1-3 p.m. in the Pablo Center’s foyer. The remaining groups will be the first Saturday of each month (second Saturday in July) through January 2021. Following are the dates and book discussion details:

  • Feb. 8: “How to Be An Antiracist” by Ibram Kendi, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire history faculty and other UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center.
  • March 7: “Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos, 1942-1992” by Jane Hamilton-Merritt, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire history faculty and other UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum, Visit Eau Claire Experience Center and L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.
  • April 4: “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson, discussion facilitated by EXPO, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum, Visit Eau Claire Experience Center and L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.
  • May 2: “Whistling Vivaldi” by Claude Steele, discussion facilitated by Uniting Bridges, UW-Eau Claire history faculty and other UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum, Visit Eau Claire Experience Center and L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.
  • June 6: “Making Gay History” by Eric Marcus, discussion facilitated by PRIDE/ LGBTQ+ Center of the Chippewa Valley, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum,  Visit Eau Claire Experience Center and L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.
  • July 11: “Dear American: Notes of An Undocumented Citizen” by Jose Antonio Vargas, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum; and “Two-Faced Racism” by Leslie Picca and Joe Feagin, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center.
  • Aug. 1: “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by Bari Weiss, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum; and “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” by Temple Grandin, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center.
  • Sept. 5: “THe Children of the Poor” by Jacob Riis (linked to the Chippewa Valley Museum exhibit), 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum; and "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond, Visit Eau Claire Experience Center and L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.
  • Oct. 3: “Lost at School” by Ross Greene, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum; and "American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era" by Ronald Satz and "Indian Nations of Wisconsin" by Patty Loew, discussion facilitated by UW-Eau Claire faculty, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center.
  • Nov. 7: "Transgender History" by Susan Stryker, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum, discussion facilitated by PRIDE/ LGBTQ+ Center of the Chippewa Valley; and "Breaking the Silence: Untold Veterans' Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan" by Ted Barris, discussion facilitated by Uniting Bridges, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center.
  • Dec. 5: “The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives” by Vanessa Hazzard, 1-3 p.m., Chippewa Valley Museum; and “Breaking the Silence: Mental Health Professionals Disclose Their Personal and Family Experiences of Mental Illness” by Stephen Hinshaw, 1-3 p.m., Visit Eau Claire Experience Center. 
  • Jan. 10, 2021: To be determined: Topics to include gender, domestic violence, problems of care giving and living with disabilities.

The UW-Eau Claire history department’s Center for Teaching History will offer a Tier One Certificate of Completion for Inclusive Community History for people who read five of the books, attend five sessions and write reflections on the five books. Uniting Bridges will try to help those who cannot afford the books, but all books are available as e-books, in Braille and in used formats. 

Support for “One Read Eau Claire” comes from Andrew Werthmann, Uniting Bridges, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Eau Claire history department, city of Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire, Pablo Center at the Confluence, Chippewa Valley Museum, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, EXPO and the LGBTQ+ Center of the Chippewa Valley.

For more information, contact Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, UW-Eau Claire professor of history, at duckswsm@uwec.edu

Photo caption: Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, UW-Eau Claire professor of history, will co-facilitate the first "One Read Eau Claire" book discussion on Ibrahim Kendi's “How to Be An Antiracist.”