The Richland College Library will host Richland College’s first human library event on Nov. 8
from noon to 4 p.m. on the Lago Vista level of the library. This event is part of a global movement started by the Human Library Organization that is working to build spaces in the community for personal dialogue about issues that are often difficult, challenging and stigmatizing.
“We wanted to host this event to bring people together from different walks of life to share experiences with one another,” said Laura McKinnon, Richland College dean of educational resources. “The Human Library fosters constructive conversations about difficult issues.”
Richland College students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, are invited to come to the library to check out a “human book”–no library card required! A human book is a person who has volunteered to have a respectful conversation with others about a topic related to the person’s own experience of prejudice and/or discrimination. This can be due to issues such as race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion or belief, lifestyle choices or any other aspect of life.
Some of the human books currently signed up to be at the event include: “First Time Mom,” “Campus Police Officer,” “Returning to School as an Older Student,” “Working with Someone with a Mental Disability,” and “Woman in the Military.”
Anyone who wants to challenge a stereotype of prejudice and have an open, honest conversation with others can sign up to be a human book. This includes people in the community, and faculty, staff and students from any college in the Dallas County Community College District.
The Human Library Organization was started in 2000 by Ronni Abergel, Dany Abergel, Christoffer Erichsen and Asma Mouna, founders of the youth organization called Stop the Violence. It was designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue, and to provide a place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. Human Library events have now taken place in more than 70 countries. For more information about the Human Library Organization, visit humanlibrary.org.
For more information about the Richland College library, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/library.
Richland College celebrated the rich cultural diversity of its students and employees on April 17 during its annual Intercultural Festival.
The event opened with “Transformation,” an outdoor, lakeside dance performance choreographed by Richland College Dance Professor Gina Sawyer, followed by the planting of Richland College’s 24th peace pole.
The newest pole on Richland’s campuswide Path for Peace bears the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in English on one side and in Kyrgyz, Telugu and Yoruba on the other three sides. Learn more about Richland’s peace poles by visiting www.richlandcollege.edu/peacepoles.
Richland College President Kay Eggleston encouraged those gathered for the peace pole planting to reflect on the deeper meaning of the ceremony.
“This moving tradition provides us with an opportunity to unite together and reflect on our shared commitment to promoting peace for those among us and throughout the world who face fear, injustice, hunger, loss, suffering and unrest,” Dr. Eggleston said. “In the words of revered former United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.'”
Susan Barkley, executive dean of Richland College’s School of World Languages, Cultures and Communications, also addressed the group and challenged the audience to learn more about the cultures of their fellow students and colleagues.
“I always look forward to this glorious day at Richland as we celebrate the unique talents and gifts that our students bring to our campus and honor the diversity which enriches our community,” Ms. Barkley said. “Whether you come from Dallas, Texas, the Cote D’Ivoire or Dubai, at Richland you are becoming a global citizen with an appreciation of other cultures, an ability to work with diverse teams, and an understanding of the interdependence of nations around the world.”
The celebration continued with the colorful Parade of Cultures, led by Chinese lion dancers and featured students carrying signs representing more than 40 countries of origin.
After the parade, Richland students and community members wearing traditional clothing performed dances and songs from their home countries. The Latin Dance Team, special guests from Berkner High School in Richardson, performed a spicy mix of salsa and bachata.
Intercultural Festival attendees also enjoyed Texas barbecue and a variety of global wares sold by artisan vendors.