Bethesda Friends Meeting
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BFM Book Discussion

  • September 25, 2021
  • 3:00 PM
  • Zoom

Sept 25th: Book Discussion of The Sum of Us

            On Saturday, September 25, at 3:00 p.m., please join the book discussion (via Zoom) of The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee. The session is sponsored by the Peace & Social Justice Committee and will be led by Jane Meleney Coe. Reading and discussing the book is a way to understand more fully how systemic racism affects us all. Use our Contract Us form for the Zoom link. 

  • In the book, the author looks at obstacles which prevent our dealing with the causes of inequality.
  • Underlying issues like mortgage and credit availability, climate change, and location and avail-ability of community assets (e.g. swimming pools) and liabilities (e.g. industrial facilities and waste sites) are a common thread.
  • If an action or policy might benefit everyone in a community, including people of color, then powers-that-be tend to choose not to take that action or adopt that policy.
  • As a policy researcher Heather McGhee decided to delve deeply into the mystery of why people would choose to privatize public services when they became available to everyone.

            For people who won’t have the time or energy to read the book or be able to get a copy easily and want to follow along and participate in the discussion -- or those who loved the book and would love to hear the author speak about it in her own voice, there are three recommended interviews:

    • TED talk: Racism has a cost for everyone.   
    • Podcast with Ezra Kleina discussion about drained-pool politics (the zero-sum stories at the heart of American policymaking) 
    • YouTube with Trevor Noah, which provides an interesting contrast to the Ted Talk she gave
    • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together 

    Bethesda Friends Meeting

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824

    Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland

    We are a member organization of the Religious Society of Friends
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