With the most recent events in the United States surrounding race and social justice issues, it has become apparent to many that we have a lot to learn about each other and from each other. There is an American history that exists outside and beyond the textbooks that many of us grew up with that may have left us short-sighted preventing us from seeing a different truth and, thereby, narrowing our wider worldview. What is so clearly seen and felt in the lives of our BIPOC brothers and sisters, remains elusive to many white Americans.

Where do we begin to learn the things we don’t know or choose to not recognize? Who are the heroes and heroines who have escaped our line of vision because of the color of their skin.

Here’s a quick quiz.
Before today, what did you know about Henrietta Lacks? Had you heard her name? How about Howard Thurman, Addie Mae Collins, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Toni Morisson, or Caryn Elaine Johnson. How did Gandhi influence the Civil Rights movement in the United States? Do you know the story of the Fifth Little Girl? Did you have to Google BIPOC?

In the Synergy Book Club, starting on January 21st at 7pm, we will begin by exploring the world through the eyes of others who may not be as well known in history; to understand and witness their life experiences that may or may not be familiar to our own personal encounters. Whether unknown, little known or very well known to you, by our collective sharing of questions and insights, perhaps we will, not only gain a clearer vision about humanity and how our past affects our present, but also, maybe we will learn something new about ourselves.

Recently, with the news of the FDA’s approval of the first Covid-19 vaccine, there is increased conversation and awareness of how disproportionately hesitant the black community is of receiving this treatment versus other Americans. Why is that? How does the history of science and medicine translate into the African American experience contributing to this wariness?
It is questions like these that beg for understanding, compassion and reflection. But, in order to redirect the trajectory of our futures, we must first look back in history to have a better understanding of how we arrived in the place where we are today; to recognize, to acknowledge and to change.

We invite you to come with an open mind, an open heart and an open vision to seeing a changed future.
Together, let’s pull back the curtain, open the window and soak in a new vision on the horizon.

Written by Karen J. Gallagher