We often talk about campus-life events hosted by the English Department, but it’s rare we shine any love on events hosted by other groups at Stevenson. It’s not that we don’t participate or appreciate the time and effort it takes to put them on but as this is the English Department Blog it should be pretty self-explanatory why we don’t. But, today we are going to explore one really cool recent event hosted by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.

You may currently be asking “What the heck is a Human Library?” We wouldn’t be able to fault you for speculating if it has something to do with anatomy. But, in this case the title is a bit more figurative. During this event, orchestrated and run by Arianna Hebner, students and faculty had the opportunity to “check-out” other students and faculty like they would a book. But these weren’t just any students or faculty. No, these members of our University have some quality about them that makes them stand out from the rest. In the list of individuals who you would have the opportunity to talk to was someone with Type 1 Diabetes, a single mom, a transgender woman, a drag queen, an atheist, a Muslim, someone who was adopted from a military family, someone with chronic depression, a black, gay man, a black leader, a person who is pansexual with parents who are mentally ill, and someone home-schooled from a military family. You then would sit down with that person for fifteen minutes and you could ask them questions or just chat.

The event was held in the Brown School of Business and the base of operations was the library. In order to “check-out” someone you would go up to the front desk in the library where they would scan your ID and then you would be able to request to talk to the person of your choice. You would be given a “Library Card” with your name and the person you were visiting so you could keep track of who you had spoken to. This event allows for students and faculty to expand their horizons and expose themselves to different kinds of people they may not usually associate with. Diversity is something we should celebrate because it enhances our creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills.

This event is hosted annually and I highly recommend everyone who has the opportunity go and experience something new. And even if you don’t feel you learned something you at least get to have some really nice conversations. To keep updated on this event and ones like it follow @mustangOME on twitter and Instagram.