Albany’s Racial Inclusivity and Social Equity Commission Proposes Books to Read



The Albany Racial Inclusivity and Social Equity Commission met on October 3, 2023, to review several topics, such as updates to their work plan, subcommittees and to discuss important future meeting agendas.

The meeting commenced by the Commission passing the September 7th meeting minutes, followed by a discussion of the Commission’s work plan and subcommittees.

Members Jim Lindsey and Akinyi Ajwang’ updated the Commission on the read-along program subcommittee’s work. They said that in the last week, they met together to come up with a plan on how to start the program and came to the consensus that they want to contact Albany Reads, a read-along program already in place in Albany and join forces with them.

Lindsay and Ajwang’ also introduced the list of books they came up with that could be read in the program such as: The 1619 Project, written by Nikole Hannah-Jones; Stamped, written by Ibram X Kennedy and Jason Reynolds; The 57 Bus and Accountable, by Dashka Slater and other relevant books. Later in the meeting during public comment, a local resident suggested that Lindsay and Ajwang’ consider adding books related to LGBTQ+ issues to the book list as well so there are more diverse topics.

Lindsay then directed the meeting towards a discussion of future agenda topics. He suggested that since their last few agendas have been short, the Commision should include discussing the Housing Element and also adding the Racial Equity Officer discussion to every meeting agenda. He followed that when there is time, those topics can be discussed. Ajwang’ then suggested that at a future meeting, Albany Reads could do a presentation so that the read-along program subcommittee can understand the work they are doing and how the subcommittee can help.

The next meeting will be held on November 7, 2023. Do join the conversation!

–Melia Smith


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