WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., June 3, 2022 — West Liberty University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is committed to unification and building bridges between administration, faculty, and staff. As part of this effort, a virtual Book Club is set to begin at noon, Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
The first book to be discussed will be How to Be An Antiracist, by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
“We are pleased to begin this new initiative of a virtual Book Club offering everyone a chance to discuss best-selling books in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion genre,” said Dr. Monique L. Akassi, who serves as interim Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives at WLU.
According to Kendi’s website, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist scholars. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of five books for adults and three books for children. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. A contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News Racial Justice Contributor, he is the host of new action podcast Be Antiracist.
The book club will be hosted on Zoom and will offer participants a free digital copy of the book and a journal. It will continue throughout the month, meeting every Tuesday at noon and discussing different books.
“I have a plethora of upcoming initiatives including launching the DEI Book Club for the global community to provide a safe space and a judge free zone to listen, discuss, learn, and grow together. Moreover, we will offer a series of Town Hall Meetings and one-on-one meetings with administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the global community to provide a platform where everyone can express concerns, suggestions, recommendations, healing, unification, and building on our great legacy as a unified West Liberty University,” said Akassi.
Akassi joined WLU this past January and is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She recently participated and presented at “The 2022 Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit,” held at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver, W.Va. and geared toward Higher Education in the Mountain State.