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Me and White Supremacy: Big Read for Equity

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Me and White Supremacy: Big Read for Equity

Dayton Metro Library, Ohio

Race and Social Equity | 2020

Innovation Summary

Dayton Metro Library encouraged learning, thoughtful self-reflection and communication with a community-wide reading project centered on the book, Me and White Supremacy. DML provided a live-streamed panel discussion, resources for further reading on the topic of racism and a clear statement of its commitment to equity.

Problem Statement

In the summer of 2020, protests were taking place in the Dayton area just as they had across the nation. Emotions were raw — calls for action were loud. DML’s newly-completed strategic plan recognized the important role the library can and should play in achieving equity. Essential to DML’s mission is to share resources and provide opportunity for increased knowledge. DML Executive Director Tim Kambitsch stated, “We all have a stake in eliminating racism, and using our capacity to fight for justice and equity.”


Innovation

DML purchased an unlimited simultaneous user license for the digital version of Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, inviting the community to read it and contribute to the conversation. DML and Dayton Daily News hosted a panel discussion livestreamed on Facebook, focused on local issues of racism and ways to move forward. DML also posted reading lists for children and adults, movies and databases from a variety of perspectives and links to initiatives from other organizations at DML’s Big Read website.


Progress

Our featured anti-racism titles received 3000+ digital checkouts in advance of our event. By providing this highly-regarded book, with opportunities to discuss and learn more, DML advanced the community’s conversation about racism. Readers gained new perspectives and vocabulary to engage in self-reflection and difficult communication. Links and information at bigread.org/guide provided age-appropriate ways to dig deeper into the topic. And, DML strongly reinforced its public commitment to anti-racism, justice and equity.