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Public Invited to Book Discusion

The Town’s Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, in partnership with the Woodbridge Town Library, invites residents to participate in a series of facilitated book discussions called “Mosaic:  Woodbridge Reading in Community.”

The goal of the series is to enrich residents’ understanding of the current and historical diversity of our community, our state and our nation.  Participants will be encouraged to participate in book discussions led by Woodbridge resident Reverend Antona Brent Smith.  Reverend Smith, who created a similar book discussion series in her home state of Missouri, led the book discussion at Woodbridge Like Me Day in October.  “Reading in community increases our understanding of our shared humanity,” Reverend Smith said.

The first event of the series will be held on Thursday, February 24 at 7 PM.  Reverend Smith will lead a discussion of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ recently published book, The 1619 Project.  The event will be virtual: a link to participate can be found on the Town website, woodbridgect.org, and the Town’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/WoodbridgeCT.

“First Selectman Beth Heller created our Ad Hoc Committee as a follow-up to the Black Lives Matter event held in Town in 2020.  Our committee felt it was in keeping with our mission to start the book series with the much talked about The 1619 Project, an in-depth look at the legacy of slavery in America,” said Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair Ellen Scalettar.  “We hope that ‘Mosaic:  Woodbridge Reading in Community’ will offer an opportunity for residents to have thought-provoking conversations with their neighbors that deepen our understanding of each other and the diversity of our community.”

“I am pleased that the Diversity & Inclusion Committee is providing residents the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and engage in difficult topics, including the lasting impacts of our nation’s history of slavery, ” said First Selectman Heller.  “I hope residents take advantage of this commuinty resource.”

The 1619 Project began as a New York Times Magazine award-winning series that put slavery and its legacy at the center of American history.  The book expands on the magazine series and includes 18 essays, 36 poems and several works of fiction.

The discussion will pay particular attention to Chapter 1, then move to Chapters 7 and 8, time permitting.  These chapters focus on democracy, politics, and citizenship, but residents will be encouraged to discuss any part of the book.

Towards the end of the event, participants will discuss possible selections for the next meeting, which will be held in the Spring.

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