Minneapolis wraps up first-ever community read

Plans already underway for next One Minneapolis, One Read

The first-ever One Minneapolis One Read has brought a shared experience of reading the same book to folks all over Minneapolis including students at Minneapolis Public Schools, patrons of Hennepin County libraries, and businesses and residents all over the city. And now it’s time to wrap up with a weekend of events including the Community Connections Conference, the premiere of a video on race relations and a presentation about black genealogy. For details about the free programs, visit www.oneminneapolisoneread.com.

Work is already under way for the next Minneapolis community read. A team is in place to select the second book. Watch www.OneMinneapolisOneRead.com for updates.

The book selected for the first community read, “The Grace of Silence,” was written by NPR host and Minneapolis native Michele Norris. The memoir describes the experience of the Norrises as the first black family on the block in a south Minneapolis neighborhood in the 1960s. Norris and MPR News host Kerri Miller kicked off One Minneapolis One Read last fall with a spectacular discussion at the Guthrie Theater; then a parade of community events offered opportunities for every Minneapolis resident to join in this community conversation around a single book.

People started conversations where they live and work with family, friends, coworkers or neighbors. Minneapolis residents generated a host of their own ideas for how to be a part of One Minneapolis One Read. South High students created a display and chatted by Skype with the author. Word of the community read spread all over the city in a variety of ways from word of mouth, book clubs, events and author visits to posters on city buses, digital billboards and bookmarks. Folks could also follow One Minneapolis One Read on Facebook and Twitter, watch rebroadcasts of several public events and see a public service announcement.

About One Minneapolis, One Read

The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools jointly lead One Minneapolis One Read with a goal of promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue. Minneapolis residents can play a positive role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading the same book and getting involved.

At its heart, One Minneapolis One Read is a community-driven effort with individuals, neighborhood groups, educators, businesses and nonprofits all coming together to make this a truly citywide read.

 The idea for a community read emerged following a debate over a controversial Minneapolis dog park. Neighbors wanted to find ways to talk about race and increase understanding.

One Minneapolis One Read is a collaboration of The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools in partnership with Tom Braun, Clear Channel Outdoor, Comcast, GoKart Labs, Gray Plant Mooty, Guthrie Theater, kreativesmith, McFarland Cahill Communications, Metro Transit, The Minneapolis Foundation, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), Sophia.org and The YWCA of Minneapolis.

Published Feb. 10, 2012