Novels for Hope offers attendees opportunity to discuss modern societal topics

BY GARY LI

On Friday, Feb 21th. Novels for Hope Diversity Book Club activity was held in the Smoky Hill Room on the second floor of Memorial Union.

During the activity, members shared their personal experiences and insights based on the book Behold The Dreamers, and brought their reading experience into their daily life and work, so as to achieve a deeper understanding of the reading material through self-reflection and deep thinking.

“ I think this opportunity with Novels for Hope gives us a chance as colleagues, as peers, to talk about the complex issues that are discussed within caricature, within novels within books, within scenarios that are either both fabricated and realistic and gives us a chance to collaborate and connect on things in a way that we typically don’t get to do,” Residential Hall Director, Christopher Willis said. “And so when you talk about being in an enriching experience as a peer and as a professional within higher education, this is an opportunity to really go outside of your normal box, go outside of yourself, push your boundaries whether that be talking about privilege or immigration status, which are some of the components we talked about in our most recent novel, it gives you a second chance to look at yourself outside of what’s your day-to-day.”

“Novels for Hope is a diversity book club that looks at many different aspects of life for individuals and at this particular one Behold The Dreamers talked about an immigrant coming into the United States and what that was like for him and his family,” said Tina Wolbert, Assistant Director of Student Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion. “This novel in this book club really offers individuals a chance to learn about people outside of our area. We live in a fairly small play and we get the chance through these novels and books to get a really different perspective on the experience of other individuals that may not be like us in some ways and are very similar to us and in other ways.”

“For me, any opportunity that I can get to take my perspective on things and push a little bit further like what this activity does it give me more of a lens to be able to build connections within my network of my students, establish relationships and be a better service to them,” Willis said. “Because whether I’m relating or I’m just being able to be a better listener that can actually hear what they’re saying rather than listen to what they’re saying rather than just hearing the words themselves there’s something in it.”

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