Inspiring an understanding of diversity through narratives

On a college campus, social justice issues are at the forefront of some students’ minds, but after class is dismissed it can be difficult to find space to talk through these issues and have open dialogue. One club students can go to to discuss issues of social justice in a safe space is the Real Lit[erature] Book Club — a collaboration between the UW Tacoma Library and the Center for Equity and Inclusion.

“We are so used to reading for a purpose — for a paper, or a lecture, or for work — that it’s hard to just get to have a space to read for fun,” Alaina C. Bull, the librarian who runs the club, said.

Each quarter, a new book is chosen which highlights a different social justice issue and the club meets throughout the quarter to discuss the book. Past books have been “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, “The 57 Bus” by Dashka Slater, “Darius the Great is Not Okay” by Adib Khorram and most recently “There There” by Tommy Orange. The last two quarters The Real Lit[erature] Club has even had discussions with the authors of the books they read.

In winter quarter, The Real Lit[erature] Club will return every other Thursday during the Husky Hour with “The Poet X,” a novel by Elizabeth Acevedo. The initial meeting will take place during the first week of classes where books will be distributed and the novel will be introduced. The book is provided to students in the club for free, and students even get to keep the book after the quarter is over. Be on the lookout for the official dates as these are tentative.

One thing that Bull is particularly excited about this upcoming quarter is continuing the trend of speaking with the author. This quarter The Real Lit[erature] club will be co-hosting a Skype call with a book club from Tacoma Public School’s Lincoln high school.

“[It has] been wonderful, fascinating and great to see what discussions come out of it,” Bull said.