WMU News

Campus encouraged to join in Reading Together

Jan. 12, 2005

KALAMAZOO--For the third consecutive year, Western Michigan University is a participating sponsor of the Kalamazoo area's Reading Together program, which this year features author James McBride's acclaimed memoir, "The Color of Water."

This year's book selection includes several broad themes for group discussions and other activities, including jazz music, religious traditions, race and identity, family composition and the power of love. A campus committee chaired by Dr. Joseph G. Reish, dean of the University Libraries, is soliciting proposals for activities related to the reading of "The Color of Water" and its themes.

University departments and organizations interested in sponsoring a discussion group or related activity should contact Dr. Deborah H. Barnes, director of the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations. Submissions received and approved by Thursday, Jan. 20, will be eligible for inclusion in the community Reading Together brochure being published by the Kalamazoo Public Library. Submissions received after Jan. 20 will be included in the Web calendar of activities, but will not be eligible for inclusion in the widely distributed printed piece.

Community reading of "The Color of Water" officially kicks off Feb. 14, and six weeks of discussion groups and other activities begin March 7 and continue through National Library Week, April 10-16. In addition to a wide range of activities scheduled in the Kalamazoo and Portage communities, WMU campus activities are being planned already for the Lee Honors College, Walker Institute and Waldo Library. Author James McBride will visit Kalamazoo March 9 and 10 and will make several public appearances, including book signings and receptions at both the Kalamazoo Public Library and Portage District Library.

To submit a proposal for book discussion group or related activity at WMU, contact Dr. Deborah Barnes at (269) 387-2141 or <deborah.barnes@wmich.edu>.

The Kalamazoo Public Library is the principal sponsor and organizer of the Kalamazoo area Reading Together program. For more information about Reading Together, "The Color of Water" and author James McBride, visit Kalamazoo Reading Together on the Web at <www.readingtogether.us> or contact KPL's Joan Hawxhurst at (269) 553-7913 or <joanh@kpl.gov>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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