The Seguin Public Library is inviting the community to discuss and explore race through a series of events, kicking off with a panel discussion on Saturday.
“Seguin Talks About Race” will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Seguin Public Library as part of a month-long focus on race and other social issues.
The inspiration for the topic is derived from the book “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo, Seguin Library Director Jacki Gross said.
“We felt that things were happening in society that if we didn’t start a conversation now about race, then we would have missed an opportunity, because it’s been in the news [with] George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, all of that,” she said. “So, we thought it was important that we start this conversation because there are conversations to be had, though they are not fun necessarily.”
In preparation for the event, the library’s staff members read through various books that focused on race, but ultimately they concluded that Oluo’s work was the best choice to launch a community-wide conversation.
“[It] was the best choice because it offered a series of topics that you could pull from and talk about,” Gross said. “Certainly, it’s not the only book about race and equality…we just felt like this one offered the best opportunity to pull from.”
The book is available for check out at the library.
Saturday’s event will host five panelists from Guadalupe County including Texas Lutheran University senior Rashad Tolbert, who serves as the president of the Black Student Union; Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos Jr., Leadership ISD Chief of Board Governance and Leadership in Fort Worth and chair of the 2019-20 Council of Urban Boards of Education; Second Baptist Church Pastor JimmieFlakes; Spirit of Joy Church Pastor Megan Elliot; Texas Lutheran University Associate Dean of Student Life and Learning Bernadette Buchanan.
The panelists will answer a series of questions presented in Oluo’s book along with questions audience members have, Gross said.
The library sought a diverse panel to touch on more topics, Gross said.
“We wanted to bring together as best we could a good mix of [people],” Gross said. “…So we thought that this was a good mix – female, religious, Hispanic, African American, and we were just hoping to get a variety of [people] because it's not just about race, it’s also about inclusion and diversity.”
The library staff is are eagerly awaiting Saturday’s panel to share what they have learned while reading Oluo’s book with community members, Gross said.
“Reading the book has definitely made me more aware of race and the issues surrounding it,” she said. “I think I can only learn from [the panelists], so I’m excited about that. And I’m excited that people in the community want to be there to talk about it because it’s a hard topic.”
The event is currently sold out with a max of 25 tickets sold as a safety precaution. However, those wanting to watch can catch the live-stream on the library’s Facebook page.
The next event as part of the series is Toddler Time on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and Preschool Storytime the next day. Both events offer in-person and online attendance options and begin at 10 a.m.
For more information on Saturday’s panel or the upcoming events visit, sequintexas.gov/landing_library.php or the library’s Facebook page.