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Irondequoit book discussions to examine racism

Messenger Post Media

The town of Irondequoit, East Irondequoit and West Irondequoit school districts, and Irondequoit Public Library recently announced plans for a community book discussion on the history and legacy of racism.

The organizations will facilitate conversations to foster a greater understanding of the history of racism, and encourage conversations around structural racism and barriers to equality.

The library and school districts will provide e-book, audiobook and print versions of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You” by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds to members of the community. This is a young readers’ adaptation of Kendi’s award-winning book that examines the roots of racism. The partnership will organize book discussions with students, families and all interested residents in small group settings.

“It is not enough for each of us to declare that we are not racist, we must take affirmative steps toward being anti-racist,” Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley said. “I am hopeful that this effort will foster a much-needed conversation about how we can each take an active role in creating a more equitable future for everyone who calls Irondequoit home. I would like to thank the districts and the library for making this effort possible.”

The East and West Irondequoit school districts will train 30 district employees to facilitate the discussion groups, and purchase books for distribution to students and their families.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring our community together to learn and grow as a group of individuals who are committed to end racism,” East Irondequoit Superintendent Mary Grow said. “What we hope to accomplish in Irondequoit will likely help others lead this work, too, and that is the power of a movement.”

West Irondequoit Superintendent Aaron Johnson said, “Fostering an anti-racist culture in Irondequoit is a shared responsibility, and this joint book study is the first of many steps to create dialogue and opportunities to learn, reflect and grow. We must come together to ensure our children develop open hearts and minds that fill our community with love, and eliminate hate and discrimination.”

The Library will purchase and provide e-book and audiobook versions of “Stamped,” and provide hard copies for distribution through the Irondequoit Community Cupboard and Little Free Libraries throughout Irondequoit’s neighborhoods.

“This community-wide effort to examine structural racism and its impact is an example of why I am a proud Irondequoit resident,” said Collene Burns, president of the IPL board of trustees. “The Library is grateful to the East and West Irondequoit school districts for their leadership, and is committed to delivering the necessary resources and support to ensure this is a prominent, ongoing discussion in Irondequoit.”

Anyone interested in participating in the book discussion can visit to register and receive updates on how to receive copies of the book.