Following the positive feedback from the book club she started in her district, North Bergen Federation of Teachers (Local 1060) President Carol Toomey thought the concept would work well as part of the AFTNJ’s social justice committee.

Hence the creation of “Off the Page, Into the World,” which is open to all AFTNJ members and aims to bring social justice into working spaces. The first session is set for Oct. 20 (changed from Oct. 13) and will cover “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo, and the second is scheduled for Nov. 16 to discuss “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.

“Rather than work through a chapter a week,” Toomey explains, “the AFTNJ forums will have discussions around the major themes of each book as well as discussions about how important conversations about race can take place in the classroom [and the community].”

As for the format, Toomey says the forums will begin with a brief introduction, followed by participants breaking off into breakout rooms for discussions, then the full group will reconvene to share their thoughts.

“Participants are choosing to be present at these meetings and will be interacting with others who want to make positive changes in their schools and within their unions,” she adds.

For more information and to register for the Oct. 20 or Nov. 16 “Off the Page, Into the World” forums, click here.

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