Host an Event

With as many protests and actions in the public space occurring today than during the Vietnam era, the book and its themes can foster productive discussions of how we might better understand each other, engage in civic life, and effect change. Below is a starter list of potential topics that might work well, drawing on the themes and encouraging empathy and respect in the community, and courage and integrity in the public sphere.

We’re inviting programming around the themes of the book. We will publish the collective listing and promote the events through Roanoke Valley Reads. Here are some ideas and potential partners, speakers, or lead organizations. Consider a tie-in that your organization may want to host—by no means does it need to come from this list. Submit your event plans here.

  • The dos and don’ts of effective opinion pieces
  • Roanoke City on the policy for public gatherings: How to work with the city for safe events
  • Call for writings or art on the theme the Public Heart
  • Memoir prompt
  • 8 session hosted conversation series aroundHealing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer
  • A discussion of the Pipeline protests reportage
  • Spoken Word event prompt
  • The role of protests today, academic presentation at a college
  • The individual voice in public space or why a silent protest
  • The history of nonviolence
  • Talk on civil disobedience and Thoreau
  • Positive action Poster Party – How to design a poster, creating posters on what we appreciate about our place
  • How to talk to a neighbor – getting beyond the difference
  • The library as civic space – the history and evolution of the library for an informed citizenry
  • Raise Your Voice: Songs of identity and protest Sing-a-long
  • Lessons from Music or Sports on working together
  • Social media and the informed citizen
  • Discernment and personal action
  • Youth read of a related and age-appropriate book
  • Ripped from the headlines: Fact and fiction in the history-based novel (local writer)
  • We can work it out – working through differences (local facilitator/mediator)
  • Study Circle sign up through Points of Diversity
  • Book swap block party
  • Trivia night

Note: On October 23, The Virginia Center for the Book will host an evening with writers Beth Macy, Monica Hesse, and Eric Eyre.  “On the Beat: Local Journalism, Truth, and Democracy—presented by Virginia Humanities” is funded by the Pulitzer Foundation and will be held at Jefferson Center.