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The Arts

Morris leads book discussion via RFPL’s Zoom

BELLOWS FALLS—When Dr. Dottie Morris offered to facilitate a four-part discussion of the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for the Rockingham Free Public Library, beginning on Monday, July 27 at 7 p.m., the library staff gave an enthusiastic “Yes!”

The New York Times bestseller explores the life of 16-year-old Starr Carter, who moves between two worlds: the poor black neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school that she attends.

The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

The Hate U Give was selected by the Vermont Humanities Council for Vermont Reads, its 2020 statewide one-book community-read program. This book, some 450 pages, is meant to be read more than once and then discussed openly with a very capable facilitator.

In her role as the associate vice president for institutional diversity and equity at Keene State College for the past 12 years, Morris provides support and direction to the entire college community in fulfilling its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism.

Named as a “Hero for Justice” by the New Hampshire YWCA, she is also a sought-after speaker for local and national conferences. The topic of Morris’s most recent talk, at a TEDxSIT conference, was “Beyond Tolerance, Acceptance and Inclusion: Reinventing and Co-creating Organizations.”

Morris, who has lived in Bellows Falls since 2003, also leads training sessions, most recently for the town of Brattleboro. There, she has addressed issues such as unconscious bias and cultural humility for all town employees, along with the Selectboard and the town’s senior management team.

The book discussion will be held by videoconference over Zoom. Participants will need to supply an email address as a primary contact on registration to connect by computer. An alternative method permits a connection via phone call.

Copies of The Hate U Give are available as downloadable eBooks and audiobooks from rockinghamlibrary.org free for any RFPL patron. Copies of this book are also available for loan from the the library’s curbside service.

Anyone living in or owning property in Rockingham may sign up for a temporary e-card via rockinghamlibrary.org.

For more information, call the library Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 802-463-4270, or email programming@rockinghamlibrary.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #567 (Wednesday, June 24, 2020). This story appeared on page B8.

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