It’s easy to get involved in the City’s first-ever community read

With the official launch of One Minneapolis, One Read, now’s the time for City employees to make plans to participate in Minneapolis’ first-ever citywide "read," a citywide effort to encourage the entire community to read a single book and join in a conversation about race, family and neighborhood history. Getting involved doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as reading the book yourself. You could also share a copy with your coworkers, talk about it over lunch, plan your own group activity or attend community events.

The book selected, "The Grace of Silence," was written by NPR host and Minneapolis native Michele Norris. The book is a memoir describing the experience of the Norrises as the first black family on the block in a south Minneapolis neighborhood in the 1960s.

The idea for a community read emerged following a controversial debate over a Minneapolis dog park. Neighbors wanted to find ways to talk about race and increase understanding. The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools are promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue in this initiative.

One Minneapolis, One Read was officially launched Sept. 13 at a special event at South High where students received free books and Skyped with author Michele Norris. 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. One Read participants can play a positive role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading "The Grace of Silence" and joining in a community conversation.

Headline event at the Guthrie Theater

The headline One Minneapolis, One Read event will feature the author with MPR News host Kerri Miller discussing the book with the audience. It will be held Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Guthrie Theater. Tickets ($10 - general admission, $5 - seniors, students, limited income) are available at www.GuthrieTheater.org or by calling the Guthrie at (612) 377-2224.

Get involved

Throughout the fall and winter, there will be many opportunities for people to join in the community conversation as part of One Minneapolis, One Read. Neighborhood groups, book clubs, libraries, literary centers and others will be holding public events where folks can come together to discuss the book.

People are encouraged to start their own conversations with family, friends, coworkers or neighbors. You can find a host of ideas for how to be a part of One Minneapolis, One Read on the website: www.OneMinneapolisOneRead.com.

City employees are welcome to participate in community activities or employee-focused activities. If you would like to start or participate in an employee-oriented group, please contact Miriam Vaughan-Lee by Friday, Sept. 23 at Miriam.Vaughn-Lee@minneapolismn.gov.

For more information and to get involved, visit www.OneMinneapolisOneRead.com, www.facebook.com/OneMinneapolisOneRead, twitter.com/MinneapolisRead or email oneread@minneapolismn.gov.

Book availability

If youd like to read the book, it can be checked out (hard cover or CD audio book) or downloaded from the Hennepin County Library. To reserve a copy or download the book, go to the library’s website and enter the book title in the Search Catalog box. The book can also be purchased for e-readers, in hard cover and paperback.

Sept. 14, 2011

Published Sep. 14, 2011