YOU HOLD ME UP BOOK STUDY
BOOKS AS SEEDS: EXPANDING THE LEARNING
One of our goals is to support grown ups in growing capacity and imagination around moving from reading books to reflection, conversation, and ACTION in the world! Everything we do to become aligned with justice, to be in right relationship with each other is movement toward collective liberation.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: ROOTS & FLOWERS
Whenever I read, my curiosity grows. I think of each book like a seed. How can each book help us to strengthen and expand our rootedness? To find and understand how our stories interconnect? To understand our history and to imagine our future? How can it give us a direction in which to grow?
To experience books in this way, we cultivate our reading practices to align with our values. YOU HOLD ME UP, for example, can lead to more and deeper learning from the author Monique Gray Smith. After reading this book, I started to read everything else by Monique Gray Smith because there's something in the way she writes that really speaks to me and teaches me. As part of my research on the author, I found many resources but will highlight a few seeds that were planted for me here:
[VIDEO] Truth, Reconciliation, and the Invisible Ones: In this informal sharing from Smith, she answers a question posed to her, "How do we make sure the invisible ones are seen?" She talks about the importance of truth AND reconciliation. Watching this video can lead to deeper contemplation and learning around how to hold both the harm that has and continues to occur and a future that contains hope and healing. It could also be shared with students and discussed in the context of moving away from binary thinking and being able to know pain and joy at the same time as we move forward together.
[VIDEO] The Drumbeat of Reconciliation: This talk given by Smith on residential schools and reconciliation at the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is so beautiful and thought provoking. From what belonging really means to how to be a good ancestor, she an entire root system to explore and take action from.
[VIDEO] How to Talk to Kids About Residential Schools: This talk by Smith is a portal to so many other rich resources. For grown ups who are wondering how to start the conversation about residential schools with the young people in their care, this is a grounding and important video.
[ONLINE COURSE] THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF RESILIENCE: Take a self-directed course by the author. Powerful!
[RESOURCE] KNOW WHOSE LAND YOU LIVE, TEACH, AND LEARN ON
If you don’t already know, look up information on which Indigenous people are from your area or elsewhere using this link.
In Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to officially task the government with compiling information, stories, and data on residential schools and the harm they caused to Indigenous communities over decades. In the U.S., while boarding schools for Native American children functioned in the same way and with similar violent impact, this country has not taken official measures to truth tell or to reconcile. Therefore, it’s up to us to tell the truth, share the information, repair harm, and never forget. No matter where we live we can participate in Orange Shirt Day.
GROW YOUR PRACTICE
This might be a new or different way of exploring books than you are used to. This is a contemplative and active way of reading that can expand over time. It is not limited to the page.
Think about what other seeds this book has planted for you? How might you follow them to see what kinds of roots and flowers you can grow? How might you invite other readers along with you?