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Home Collegewide Faculty and Staff Calendar Spring 2023 Racial Justice Book Circle: "The Sum of Us"

Spring 2023 Racial Justice Book Circle: "The Sum of Us"

Date and Time

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
12:00 to 1:00 pm

Add to Calendar 02/01/2023 12:00 PM 02/01/2023 01:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Spring 2023 Racial Justice Book Circle: "The Sum of Us" We would like to invite you to join FLC's Spring 2023 racial justice book circle. We will be reading and discussing Heather McGhee’s book, "The Sum of Us”. Amy Brinkley false MM/dd/yyyy


This is an online event.


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We would like to invite you to join FLC's Spring 2023 racial justice book circle. We will be reading and discussing Heather McGhee’s book, The Sum of Us. We are excited to continue these district-wide discussions and would like to encourage everyone to attend.

About the Book:
Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own. The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.

Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (dates February 1 through April 26) via Zoom.

Reading Schedule

  • Week 1 - February 1: Introduction and Chapter 1
  • Week 2 - February 8: Chapter 2
  • Week 3 - February 15: Chapter 3
  • Week 4 - February 22: Open Chat/Check-In
  • Week 5 - March 1: Chapter 4
  • Week 6 - March 8: Chapter 5
  • (no meeting the week of Spring Break)
  • Week 7 - March 22: Chapter 6
  • Week 8 - March 29: Chapter 7
  • Week 9 - April 5: Open Chat/Check-In
  • Week 10 - April 12: Chapter 8
  • Week 11 - April 19: Chapter 9
  • Week 12 - April 26: Chapter 10/Wrap Up

Several e-copies of the book are available via Los Rios Libraries.

RSVP here*
*(RSVP not required but appreciated to gauge size.)

This book circle will follow a similar format to our previous book circles and will include time for personal reflection followed by active discussion in small groups using a shared leadership philosophy. Reading of the chapters in advance is expected in order to fully engage in the discussion.

Meets State Professional Development Guideline B: Staff development, in-service training, and instructional improvement and Guideline F: Related activities, such as student advising, guidance, orientation, matriculation services, and student, faculty, and staff diversity.



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