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Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: "There There" by Tommy Orange


Nov. 23, 2021, 6 - 7 p.m.



Sponsored by:

Join the “Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives” reading the fiction novel There There by Tommy Orange. The book club is open to students, faculty, and the TMCC community. The book club meets Tuesdays in November from 6–7 p.m. via Zoom. Each week we will discuss a different section of the book. You do not have to read the book to participate in the events.  This event is led by members of the Faculty for Radical Empowerment and Enlightenment committee (F.R.E.E.)

Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives Book Club Schedule:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6–7 p.m.: Prologue discussion led by Greg Neilsen.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 6–7 p.m.: pp 1–150 discussion led by Molly Maynard.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23, 6–7 p.m.: pp 151–225 discussion led by Emily King.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 30, 6–7 p.m.: pp 226–290 discussion led by Nancy ONeal.

Join the Event on Zoom

The 2021–22 theme for F.R.E.E. “Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives” - addresses the questions:

  1. How do we hear diverse Indigenous voices?
  2. How do we nurture belonging out from intergenerational traumas, as well as support intact cultures that exist apart from imposed trauma?

The 2021–22 theme for F.R.E.E. is “Whole Campus Book Club for Belonging: Diverse Indigenous Perspectives.” This book club involves a cross-section of 27 faculty and staff from different departments alongside our respective students. During the year, we will study and participate in activities to understand and connect diverse Indigenous perspectives to established courses. One goal is to learn how to nurture a sense of belonging out of trauma, as well as to nurture intact cultures and resources that exist apart from trauma. This year's books were selected by a cross-section of campus participants to be read in Fall 2021. We are reading purposeful excerpts of the books.

  • The Fall 2021 book is There There by Tommy Orange (fiction).
  • The Spring 2022 book is An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (nonfiction).

We acknowledge that we read the book on land that was once populated by thriving Indigenous communities, such as the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe. As participation in diversity experiences and collaborations balance the mainstream curriculum narrative on campus, we open academics to Indigenous voices.

As the academic year unfolds, we will participate in collaborative events to understand various Indigenous experiences present and past, exploring environmental education, multiple narrative voices, storytelling, and oral history traditions, statistical analysis, research methodologies, mental and physical health practices, trust-building from betrayal, political engagement, urban vs. rural identities, local vs. regional vs. global identities, artifacts as identity, insider vs. outsider understandings, and community rituals, such as pow wows, totem-making, textiles, ceramics, baskets, meals, and roundhouse ceremonies. 

Faculty for Radical Empowerment and Enlightenment (F.R.E.E) is TMCC’s longest-running interdisciplinary theme-based learning community, operating continuously since its founding in 2003. Learning communities—theme collaborations among cohorts of educators and students—are forums for shared social-emotional learning to deepen academic engagement. F.R.E.E. is an example of a "laboratory" learning community, focusing on imaginative evolving student-centered themes to engage previously scheduled courses into big picture academics through a year-long series of events. Involving approximately 200 students and 10 active cross-disciplinary faculty each year, F.R.E.E. centers on holism.