A Space for Discussing Race: Our Coming Together in Skokie and Niles Township Exhibit

Have you noticed the brightly colored walls and provocative quotes from thinkers like Nelson Mandela, Ani DiFranco and others now appearing in the Central Lobby? It’s our new participatory exhibit, and it’s all part of Coming Together in Skokie and Niles Township.

This year’s theme, Voices of Race, gives us all a chance to think, speak, and listen to each other on this important topic. Sign up at the Reader Services or Youth Services desks to receive a Coming Together backpack. In it you’ll find suggestions for books, films, and conversation topics to prompt thoughtful discussion with your friends and family.

You’ll also receive two blank flags that you can use to express yourself. Write, draw, paint, or find other ways to convey what race and identity mean to you, then submit your finished flags back to the desk. Watch as the wall takes on a life of its own each week as more flags join the conversation!

Adding content to the library's Coming Together exhibit

How did we get the idea for this activity? Graphic Designer, Vanessa Rosenbaum, says:

“You know, there was stuff all over my Facebook page when the Ferguson thing hit, and I couldn't read it. It was overwhelming. And so much of it was so caustic. When we were thinking about this exhibit-right around that same time-I wanted to find a way to be a part of a conversation, to create a conversation- that was not so loaded. The flags, the circle, were a way to do that. The circle could keep it contained, make it less intimidating, and it could give us all the same starting point. And also, because of the design, it made some space. I felt like it was successful, or at least, I was excited, when I go to the point that I wanted to participate.”

Take a look at the wall and see what other members of your community have shared. Do you have something to say?