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Black Lives Matter and Diversity – A Message from The Reader 

Written by Rachael Norris, 12th June 2020

'It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.'

 Audre Lorde, poet 

 

The Reader stands in solidarity with all those who have suffered from systemic racism, social injustice and violence. 

Our work is based on the belief that all great literature can provide points of connection for diverse groups of people. We recognise that we have a part to play in bringing about the social change that is needed now to make a new world. 

The events of the last few weeks have given a new urgency to the work on diversity that we have been aware was needed for some timeWe are trying, or on our way to trying, to learn to think and work in new ways so that we can accelerate the changes we need to make. 

Like other organisations, we know that, in the longer term, this will mean making some changes to address both our understanding and practice. We are committed to taking this action and to involving all of our community in this work – our employees, volunteers, customers, trustees and partners.   

Greater diversity enriches and strengthens cultures. In the light of recent events, our immediate focus will be to look critically at the range of literary texts that we curate and use in our Shared Reading groups to ensure that it reflects the perspectives of diverse people with diverse experience. 

We know we have more to do and that we have to work harder. We know there will be difficult – and often uncomfortable – conversations ahead, and so  just as we do in Shared Reading  we will use the powerful language of literature to help us to deepen our understanding of the changes we need to make. 

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