The Highland Lakes campus is hosting its sixth annual Human Library this spring with humans to ‘check out’ and learn from.
A Human Library is an event where people volunteer to be “Books,” which are labeled and then available for “check out.” The idea is to have a cross section of “books” representing different aspects of the population that have been stereotyped.
“Books” are asked to be themselves and tell their story in response to questions asked by the “Reader.” This exercise allows “Books” and “Readers” alike to meet people from other walks of life that they may not otherwise have had an opportunity to meet and to learn about them. The idea is to break down barriers and end prejudice.
OCC’s Human Library this year includes the following titles: Gay Dads, British Muslim, Transgender, Living with Alzheimer’s, Living with Spina Bifida. The library hopes to have 13 to 14 Human book titles in all. The Human Library will be featured from noon to 3 p.m., April 10 at the Highland Lakes Diversity and Inclusion Fair. The event will also include student exhibits on nursing and dental hygiene care around the world. Massage therapy students will provide free massages, a henna artist will give free temporary tattoos, and Empty Bowls donations will benefit the Open Door Pantry.
For more information, watch this Human Library video.
Also coming up is the Great Michigan Read, presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities. OCC is one of 300 statewide community partners. A statewide committee selected Annie’s Ghosts, a 2010 Michigan Notable Book by Washington Post Associate Editor and Detroit native Steve Luxenberg, for the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read.
Annie’s Ghosts is part memoir, part detective story and part history. As the author tries to understand his mom’s reasons for hiding her sister’s existence, he takes readers on a journey into his mother’s world of the 1930s and ’40s, where he explores how a poor, immigrant family manages life with a child who has special needs. Annie’s Ghosts is a story of re-framing one’s self-understanding once a family secret is revealed, providing insight into how our identities are shaped by learning something shockingly new about our family history.
OCC Great Michigan Read events are as follows:
- Book Discussion with Genealogical Presentation: “Family Secrets Revealed: An Exploration of the Genealogical Tools Used in Steve Luxenberg’s Annie’s Ghosts,”11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., March 17, Room D-201, AH Library
- A Conversation About Annie’s Ghosts, the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read, 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, March 18, Room D-201, AH Library
- Contact: Christine Malmsten (248) 232-4131
- Book discussions: 5-6 p.m., Monday, March 17 and Noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 25, HL Library, Woodland Hall
- Program: Annie’s Ghosts: Conversation and Exploration of Mental Illness, noon to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, at Woodland Hall, Room 121
- Contact: Beth Garnsey (248) 942-3128
Orchard Ridge Campus:
- Guest speaker: Fred Cummins, President of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Oakland County, speaks about How Mental Illness Impacts the Family & the Role of the Public Mental Health Care System from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 18, Room J-294.
- Book Discussion: Noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 19, King Library, Room K-216
- Contact: Nadja Springer-Ali (248) 522-3531
- Book Discussion & Film Program: Annie’s Ghosts and Back Wards to Back Streets film discussion, 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, March 26, Room B-251, Royal Oak.
- Brown Bag Book Discussion, Noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, April 3, Room B-300p, Southfield
- Contact: Darlene Johnson-Bignotti (248) 246-2526
By Margarita Bauza Wagerson