Dear Evanston's Racial Justice Book Group


What is it?



The DE Racial Justice Book Group first met in June, 2017 with 40 people, and now draws anywhere from 80 to 180 people every other month. It’s intended for anyone who lives, works, plays, prays, or studies in Evanston. The goals of the book group are:


  • To encourage as many people as possible to read and discuss interesting and challenging books and have difficult but necessary conversations. 


  • To develop closer relationships with Evanstonians across race and socio-economic status. 


  • To gain new insights from people with different life experiences. 


  • To offer action steps to build bridges and make change in Evanston.

Why should I sign up?


You’ll meet new friends while reading and discussing acclaimed thought- and action-provoking books about racial justice in Evanston, Chicago, and the United States.

What time does it meet?


We meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Is dinner provided?


Each book group gathering features an Evanston caterer or restaurant. We've enjoyed meals by Noir d'Ebene, Jennifer's Edibles, Sugar Baker, among others.


Do you have to pay to participate?





Thanks to our corporate sponsor Allie Payne of Compass Realty and co-sponsors YWCA Evanston/North Shore, The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Indivisible Evanston, Evanston Cradle to Career, and Bookends & Beginnings, the book group is free to anyone who’d like to attend. 


Each book group features a dinner, dessert, and drinks catered by a local Black or minority-owned business.



Where do we meet?


We meet at various locations around Evanston with the goal of introducing participants to new organizations, businesses, and neighborhoods.



Where do I get a book?


Books are available at the second floor information desk at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., or for purchase at Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave. Bookends provides a 15 percent discount for DE Racial Justice Book Group participants and also donates five copies of each book for participants who would like to purchase a book but are not able to afford the cost. Please email us and we'll make sure you get a copy.


What we've read so far



Here’s the list of books we’ve read to date since the inception of the Dear Evanston Racial Justice Book Group.


If you’d like to receive information about the book group, please subscribe to Dear Evanston, and, if you’re on Facebook, request to join the DE Racial Justice Book Group group.


  • The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, Natalie Moore 

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander 

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein 

  • Citizen, an American Lyric, Claudia Rankine 

  • Parables from the Outskirts of Society, Jerome Summers 

  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas 

  • White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo 

  • Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools, John Diamond and Amanda Lewis 

  • Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond, Marc Lamont Hill 

  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

  • How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

  • The End of Policing, Alex S. Vitale

  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson

2019-2020 Calendar and Selections

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