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Building understanding one book at a time

24 Oct

Back in 2009, oral historian Anne Marie Pois interviewed three of the founders of Reading to End Racism (RER), a non-profit group in Boulder County that sends trained readers into the schools to read specially chosen books to students that stimulate conversations about discrimination and overcoming it. 

This week we release “Reading to End Racism: Building understanding one book at a time,” an “MROHP Short” produced by Jenna Woods, that distills that interview into an engaging and inspiring introduction to the program.

This video features founders Ghada Elturk, Jean Gore, and Daniel Escalante talking about efforts to make Boulder “a racism-free zone,” experiences in their own lives that sensitized them to issues of racism, what it means to become an ally of those who experience discrimination, and how RER creates change through its effect on both readers and students.

As Daniel Escalante says,

It’s through stories that we can begin to learn about each other, understand each other, begin to have compassion for each other. It’s hard to discriminate against somebody that you care about.

Watch “Reading to End Racism: Building understanding one book at a time” here or on YouTube.

Full Body Burden

15 Jun


“Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Full Body Burden is a tale that will haunt your dreams.” –John Dufresne

Kristen Iversen’s “superbly crafted tale of Cold War America’s dark underside” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) draws on many of the 160 oral history interviews about the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant that are archived in the Boulder Public Library’s Maria Rogers Oral History collection (, click on “Special Collections,” then on “Rocky Flats” in the blue box that appears on the left side of the screen).

In alternating chapters, Iversen tells the story of her family’s secrets and Rocky Flats’ secrects and the ways in which they intersected for her as she grew up in Arvada, Colorado.

Iversen’s book is available for checkout at each of the Boulder Public Library’s circulating branches. You can hear her speak on Monday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Unity Church in an event sponsored by the Boulder Bookstore ($10 voucher required; good for a discount on the book).

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