Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Open Books Open Minds

Mid-semester, our class attended an Open Books – Open Minds Reading, where we listened to different stories from different students, and even the President Nancy Carriuolo. Each story that was read represented a different experience, a different background, and a different culture. Between the struggle of family divide in coming to this country, to their grandmother's experience in getting her home and belongings taken away from her, it was amazing to hear the different, personal stories from themselves and their family members and the sentimental value each family possessed.  

Within this, I realized the true diversity that was represented amongst our RIC student population. This certainly brought me back to, "The Danger of a Single Story" by novelist Chimamanda Adichie, that I mentioned in a previous blog post. Open Books – Open Minds has a main goal to try to engage others in the common book. "We now envision a broader scope for the program, which continues to encourage the participation of freshmen in OBOM as we expand our year-long series of events inspired by the common book to involve students from all academic levels and diverse disciplines," (Rhode Island College, 2014).

Adichie discusses the mainstream story lines for children's literature that talked about white people being the main characters and the actions being the every day life in America. When my class went to go visit Youth in Action this past semester, they had a room filled with different quotes, statements, pictures, statistics, and ideas all over the walls. One of the things that really stood out to me was Children Literature and the small diversity in culture that is represented (picture above). It made me really think about the little representation in culture that literature reflects. When attending this event, I got a real sense in cultural diversity, and it was really educating to experience these stories through their skillful storytelling.
The writing of these stories was remarkable and it was more than a pleasure to attend this event.