Posted: 2/18/22

TAMIU Seeking Human ‘Books’ for The Human Library Event, March 24


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Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) University College is looking for some human “Books” to be a part of its first-ever presentation of The Human Library in March.

Organizer Dr. Hayley Kazen, TAMIU University College assistant professional, said human Books are the backbone of The Human Library, a participatory event at which they represent marginalized communities, providing first-hand awareness and insight that challenges prejudices and stereotypes through dialogue.

“These human Books are critical to The Human Library experience, and so we are interested in identifying individuals who can represent a broad spectrum of the human experience.  We’ll provide them with a two-hour training.  The actual event will be in TAMIU’s Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Great Room on Thursday, March 24 from 3:30-6:30 p.m.  Visitors or readers coming to The Human Library will be able to select a Book and later engage in a timed one-on-one conversation. The event is open to the community and free of charge. It is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas and is offered in collaboration and co-hosted by The Human Library Organization (HLO),” Dr. Kazen explained.

Kazen said students are fanning out through the community to identify and secure Books for the experience and event.  

“We are especially looking for individuals who can represent and be a Book for areas that HLO recognizes as ‘Pillars of Prejudice.’  These include addiction, disabilities, ethnicity, family relations, gender/sexuality, health, ideology, lifestyle, occupation, religion and social status.  We are eager to offer a truly diverse and expansive experience with a broad spectrum of Books. Our deadline is Sunday, Feb. 27,” she noted.

The Human Library®, founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000, is a not-for-profit learning platform dedicated to hosting personal conversations to challenge stigma and stereotypes.  It has become an international non-profit operating on six continents and in 80+ countries.  Directed by the HLO, it aims to address people's prejudices by helping them talk to those they would not usually meet, using a library analogy that lends people instead of books -- and encourages all to ‘unjudge someone.’  This will be the first time that a Human Library event is held in Laredo.

Kazen said she and her students have great optimism about this experience and event.

“We live in a very challenging time where prejudice and stereotypes lead many to unfairly judge a book by its cover.  We’re offering this experience as a chance to provide a space where we can question, answer, defy stereotypes and learn more about the multi-faceted human experience together. We should all be ‘open books’ for such experiences.  This is the right time and TAMIU is the right place,” she concluded.

For more on The Human Library event at TAMIU and to learn more about being a human Book, contact Dr. Kazen at hkazen@tamiu.edu or call 956.326.2805.

To learn about The Human Library and The Human Library Organization, visit: humanlibrary.org

For more on TAMIU, visit tamiu.edu or the University’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

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