Minneapolis kicks off first-ever community read: One Minneapolis, One Read

Minneapolis City leaders have launched One Minneapolis, One Read, the first citywide "read," where the entire community is encouraged to read a single book and join in a community conversation.

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 1950s.

The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools are jointly leading One Minneapolis, One Read with a goal of promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue.

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.

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 also 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 the conversation on the One Minneapolis, One Read website.

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, $10 general admission; $5 seniors, students, limited income. Tickets are available online through the Guthrie Theater website or by calling Guthrie at (612) 377-2224.

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. 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 Grace of Silence" and getting involved.

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

Published Sep. 13, 2011