A RESULTS Book Club: Not Just Another Gathering

April 3, 2011
by Lillian Gu, RESULTS Grassroots Activist from The Triangle, North Carolina

What I love the most about being in RESULTS is how empowering it is. From getting letters to the editor published  and meeting members of Congress to hosting outreach events, RESULTS offers many ways to empower its members. Last year, the North Carolina Triangle group discovered a new method of empowerment through our new book club. 

During our 2010 group planning process, several of us mentioned that we would love to start a book club. Two months before, a group of us had gone to hear Dambisa Moyo speak; she is the author of the controversial book Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa. We put two and two together, and the book club idea became a reality. Dead Aid was our first book, and we just kept going. Every few months, we choose a book to read, someone volunteers to be facilitator, and then we gather for a potluck dinner and some lively discussion.

We have read books on gender equality and sex-trafficking (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women by Kristof and WuDunn), microfinance (Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Yunus), global health and AIDS (28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Nolen), and access to education (Leaving Microsoft to Save the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children by Wood). Our May selection is Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day by Collins, Morduch, Rutherford, and Ruthven.  

The book club has been a great way for us to learn more about the issues for which we advocate, and we know that knowledge is power. Knowing more about the issues means we are more confident and effective activists. The book club has also been a fantastic way for our chapter members to bond with each other. Knowing more about each other means we are more effective as a team. Moreover, being part of the book club has also made me feel less intimidated by the world’s numerous and multi-faceted problems. I’m not alone; there are other people who care deeply about global poverty, and we can fight it together. 

So not only has the book club been loads of fun, but it has served as yet another way that RESULTS is empowering me to be a global citizen.

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