Denver Public Library, Colorado
We asked customers to think about their experiences, questions, hopes, laments or observations about race. Then we asked them to distill those thoughts into only six words. Our "Race Card Project" displays were replicated in five libraries and invited customers to engage in civil discourse around a sensitive topic.
"The Race Card Project" allows for the possibility courageous conversations in an open forum. We can no longer have these types of conversations in segregated groups. If we wish to fulfill the dreams of all Americans we cannot ignore the effects of institutional racism. "The Race Card Project" provides a example of the possibility of civil discourse within the local community.
Public libraries are a key part of our democracy. Promotion of intellectual freedom and the sharing of ideas among our community members to creates an educated and more informed society as a whole in order to have a positive impact. Libraries become regarded as centers for community engagement as opposed to just repositories of information.
"The Race Card Project" can be a starting point for communities to start to have these important discussions and begin moving forward and healing from the racial divides that have adversely effected our society.