OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU The coronavirus epidemic risks further dividing an already-divided world. Communities already separated by mistrust and ignorance are now separated by physical distances as well, as we shelter in our homes. But the arts—music, reading, drama—also have the ability to unite us right now, and forge new connections. We’re all in this—this pandemic, this world—together.
Reach out to a community that your own community has had tenuous or complicated connections with. This might be a church, a synagogue, a mosque; a parenting group or a school or neighborhood association in an area with which your own area has experienced tensions.
Invite them to form an online book group with your own community, with the goal of discussing literature rather than politics. For your first few books, choose works by authors not affiliated with either of your groups (for example, for a mosque forming a book group with a synagogue, choose a novel or collection of stories by a writer who is neither Muslim nor Jewish).
Meet from your living rooms on a platform of your choice to discuss the book. Be human together. Talk about the characters and what drives them, what they fear and what they hope for.
Let us know if you decide to take up the challenge and contact us if you need suggestions.