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New Faculty/Staff Book Club Gets MMC Reading about Race

April 09, 2019
  • Rebecca Mattis-Pinard leads a break-out group for a discussion on the book, "White Fragility," by Robin DiAngelo
  • Co-facilitators Jennifer Brown, PhD (EWL), Catherine Cabeen, MFA (Dance), and Rebecca Mattis-Pinard, Chief Diversity Officer
Sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Thomas J. Shanahan Library, the MMC R.E.A.D.S. (Racial Equity And Dialogue Series) Book Club was developed to provide a space of continued learning for faculty and staff interested in better understanding issues of race and racism.

The inaugural book selection for Spring/Summer 2019 is “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism” by Robin DiAngelo. On April 9, 2019, faculty and staff from across the College gathered for the first meeting to discuss the book’s beginning passages, the author’s “White Racial Frame” concept and the questions she poses regarding representation.

Rebecca Mattis-Pinard, Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator, welcomed the group and gave a brief overview of the program’s planning history before breaking the room into three separate discussion groups. Leading the other sections were faculty members Jennifer Brown (EWL) and Catherine Cabeen (Dance). Participants of all levels of understanding around race and racism are invited to meet once a month to engage in honest and thoughtful dialogue about the selected readings.  A list of book titles will be developed by book club members and one new book will be selected each semester. 

“This first meeting demonstrated that many of our faculty and staff are committed to pushing their thinking on race and racism,” remarked Mattis-Pinard. “Unpacking the readings together in an honest and open environment along cross-racial lines has helped in the understanding of how personal racial socialization shapes institutions and ultimately structures. I’m pleased to see the commitment to personal learning in this area that will undoubtedly impact the ways in which we make MMC a more equitable and inclusive environment.”

The second installment of the Spring/Summer 2019 reading will include pages 51-106. For more information about the initiative, email rpinard@mmm.edu

Break out session group led by Catherine Cabeen, MFA (Dance)Break out session group led by Catherine Cabeen, MFA (Dance)