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Initiative to Read One Book as a Community Kicks off Today

Lexington, Ky. (March 1, 2022) – Lexington Public Library is relaunching its popular One Book One Lexington program by inviting everyone in the greater Lexington community to read Heather McGhee‘s New York Times bestselling, non-fiction book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” in March and April.
 

The Lexington Public Library has procured 250 print and digital copies of the book to inspire Central Kentuckians to join in a regional conversation about the costs of racism. In this book, American economy expert Heather McGhee argues that racism has costs not just for people of color but for white people as well. McGhee finds examples from across the country of how racism hurts us all and explains the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own.

The One Book, One Lexington Community Reads program is a shared reading experience where members of the community all read and discuss the same timely book.

In her New York Times book review, Jennifer Szalai writes “The Sum of Us” tallies the cost of racism for everyone: “There is a striking clarity to this book; there is also a depth of kindness in it that all but the most churlish readers will find moving. [McGhee] explains in exacting detail how racism causes white people to suffer.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community to come together and engage in a deep conversation on the perils of racism,” said Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library Executive Director. “Taking steps to end racism, all racism, is a responsibility of every member of our community, and we hope to inspire meaningful conversations to improve racial disparities in our city.”

Visit any Lexington Public Library location or www.lexpublib.org to reserve a copy.  E-books are also available through the Libby app.  Anyone who lives or works in Fayette County is eligible for a Lexington Public Library card at no cost.  

One Book, One Lexington Community Reads “The Sum of Us” is just one of a series of events that will be announced over the course of the year designed to engage the entire community, deepen knowledge and prompt action on issues of racial equity and anti-Black racism.

These efforts are guided by a collaboration that includes the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, the University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity, CivicLex, Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Lexington Public Library, RADIOLEX, WUKY and Blue Grass Community Foundation, with generous funding support from Walton Family Foundation.

“We’re excited that the One Book, One Lexington Community Reads ‘The Sum of Us’ kicks off what will be a series of engaging and thought-provoking opportunities for our community to collectively come together to explore how racial equity can improve the quality of life for everyone,” said Lisa Higgins-Hord, co-chair of the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, a community-advised, permanent charitable endowment of Blue Grass Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation is coordinating the collaborative as part of its mission to create more generous, vibrant, and equitable communities across the Bluegrass.