This month marked an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a nurturing and compassionate environment for children and families of every background. The Grace Book Club is a new Compass-wide initiative designed to enrich our understanding of racism and inspire proactive anti-racist action. More than mere acceptance and tolerance, the club seeks to encourage us to become active agents of positive change, championing equality and inclusivity for all.
Books have the power to shape our thoughts and perspectives. They provide us with a safe environment to connect deeply with diverse experiences and walk in someone else’s shoes for a while. Through the GRACE Book Club, Compass invites us to cultivate understanding and empathy by shining a light on marginalised communities.
Our Selection of Anti-Racist Books
In keeping with the spirit of GRACE, or Group and Regional Ambassadors Committed to Equality, the following anti-racist education books have been carefully selected for this club:
How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X Kend
We kicked off our book club meetings in early July with Ibram X Kend’s How to Be an Antiracist. The author was recently named by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people. Dr Kend asks us to consider what an anti-racist society looks like in practice, and how each one of us can play a role in building it. It’s not enough to simply not be racist, we need to strive to be purposefully anti-racist.
Girl Woman Other – Bernadine Evaristo
Winner of the prestigious Booker Prize award in 2019, this remarkable book delves into the intricate aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real and imagined. It tells the story of twelve different characters who are predominantly women, black and British. Explore their loves, their joys and struggles, across the country and through different time periods. Book discussions to be held on September 5, 7-8pm.
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts – Resmaa Menakem
Often described as groundbreaking work, Resmaa Menakem’s book proposes that white supremacy-induced generational trauma is not only related to the mind, but deeply embedded within our bodies – including our blood and nervous systems. The therapist explains that healing is possible through a holistic approach, along with working to overcome our racial divides in society. Book discussions on November 7, 7-8pm.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s famous memoir recounts her traumatic childhood experiences that were marked by abandonment, abuse and prejudice, and the lasting consequences thereof. The book is also a story of recovery, of reclaiming love for oneself, and learning to treasure your spirit while also trusting the kindness of others. It is a poignant, joyous and life affirming book for every generation. Book discussions will be held on January 9 2024, 7-8pm.
Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire – Akala A
In his book, BAFTA award winning musician Akala covers everything from education, police, political identity, objectification and the rise of the far right. The author also discusses the innate denialism of British society when confronted with tangible issues of class and race. Akala proposes that these responses are a legacy of the British Empire, which still lingers in our politics and discourse. Expect to be thoroughly engrossed. Book discussions on March 6 2024, 7-8pm.
Nurturing Minds, Nurturing Change
The GRACE Book Club represents an incredible opportunity for everyone associated with Compass Community to engage in meaningful discussions about race and racism. By delving into our selection of thought-provoking titles, book club participants can understand the intricacies of racism and the impact it still has on real communities today.
If you are interested in joining our book club, please confirm your attendance by clicking on any of the links above.