Below we have provided resources for leading your own book discussion. The discussion of racism and white privilege can be a very uncomfortable topic for some. Additionally, participants may not have participated in a book discussion before. Consider establishing group guidelines or ground rules to go over with group before your discussion begins. Below are some suggestions. Print off copies or have displayed during the discussion.
Suggestions for Group Guidelines
Take space, make space
Also known as step up, step back; Make space for all voices – if you are typically quiet, consider offering your thoughts to the group, if you are typically first to talk, consider waiting to let other voices be heard.
Awareness of our gender pronouns
Consider nametags or introductions with gender pronouns prior to discussing.
Speak from the “I”
Let’s try to share about our own experiences rather than speaking for other people or universalizing our experience.
We are all learners
No one here is an expert at anti-racism; it’s a lifelong process for white folks to unlearn racism, we are all on our distinct journeys. Not a one-stop thing. A lot of folks don’t have a lot of experience talking about racism so it can feel scarier than it is; give yourself permission to be vulnerable. Some of our best learning happens when we take risks.
Treat everyone with respect
Remind participants this is a safe space where all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, parental status, veteran status, military discharge status, citizenship status or source of income or any other protected status are welcome. Participants are asked to treat everyone in the room with respect.