The New Jim Crow Book Club Series

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As SVP continues to deepen our understanding of the racial inequities in our communities we are working to provide opportunities for partners to engage in conversation, open dialogue and learning. The New Jim Crow series will be a monthly gathering for up to 20 partners to participate as a cohort and engage in deep, meaningful dialogue about race, racism, and structural inequality in the age of mass incarceration. We will discuss the book chapter by chapter in a casual and comfortable setting. We hope to foster dialogue, build relationships, and push ourselves out of our comfort zone to talk about these important issues.

Each chapter session will take place over lunch at a local restaurant so all you need to bring is your curiosity, open mind, insights, bravery and respect. Drinks and a comfortable setting for conversation will be provided.

While many inequities exist in our community, race is SVP’s starting (but not ending) focus area. We must be intentional and strategic about finding and getting in the way of patterns, behaviors and pathways in our society and institutions that foster and perpetuate racial inequities.

Chapter Session Dates and Times

  • Chapter 1: Monday, December 14th - Safari Njema Restaurant (Columbia City)
  • Chapter 2: Tuesday, January 17th
  • Chapter 3: Tuesday, February 21st
  • Chapter 4: Tuesday, March 21st
  • Chapter 5: Tuesday, April 18th
  • Chapter 6: Tuesday, May 16th

Locations TBD. Please note this series is for current SVP Partners only and we strongly encourage you to attend all sessions.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

Called “stunning” by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Levering Lewis, “invaluable” by the Daily Kos, “explosive” by Kirkus, and “profoundly necessary” by the Miami Herald, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.

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