Sam Houston University professors and members of the CHSS Diversity Committee, Dr. Ervin Malakaj and Dr. Jeff Littlejohn have recently started a new program called the Diversity Reading Program.
The program was established over this past summer “to facilitate important discussions and establish programming related to diversity and inclusion,” Co- Founder of the Diversity Reading Program, Dr. Malakaj said.
The Diversity Reading Program currently is covering, Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Between the World and Me”, which is about a father writing a letter to his son about what it is like to live as a black man in America.
“We wanted to address the police violence against African Americans that we read so much about this summer hoping to raise awareness about the diversity of our student body and community,” Dr. Littlejohn said.
Dr. Malakaj spoke on the idea behind the program.
“The Diversity Reader brings an important book addressing a vital topic of our times to the broader SHSU community. We hope to engage students, faculty, and staff in transformative discussions,” Dr. Malakaj said.
Only two meetings this semester have been schedule, one already passed but for those who are interested, the next meeting will be held on November 2 at the Vortexan to continue to discuss, “Between the World and Me”.
“Participants are broken up into small groups. The idea is that you don’t sit next to people you know, but next to people you will get to know. Then three themes with accompanying quotes [are presented], which are intended to be starting points for group discussion,” Dr. Malakaj said.
Dr. Littlejohn discusses the goals of the program and hopes for further discussion among SHSU students and faculty about important issues occurring in today’s society.
“We hope that as we move forward in the coming weeks, students will reach out to their peers and faculty members to get involved in a more robust discussion about the racial, ethnic, class, and gender differences that too often divide us,” Dr. Littlejohn said.