The Human Library is an international movement that started in Denmark in the year 2000 and has since made its way through over 30 countries. The Human Library Lynchburg team is bringing this event to Riverviews Artspace to provide a cultural platform for dialog, encouraging communication to remove stigmas within our society.
The Human Library actually does what it says it will do and what it was designed to do:
It helps build understanding for diversity by providing a framework for real conversations about important issues. Open and honest conversations, which can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community. Real people in real conversations within a framework setup to help facilitate and accommodate the process. This is an innovative approach to challenging stigma, stereotypes and prejudices through a non-confrontational and friendly conversation. It provides a voice to groups in the community that are stigmatized and to help bring about platforms that support a greater understanding of diversity and social cohesion.
This quarterly event aims to create dialogue and understanding between people.
Individuals volunteer as human ‘books’ and participants in the event can ‘read’ the book- meaning they would have a one on one conversation with the volunteer and share in a dialogue about that individual’s experience. ‘Books’ are volunteers from all walks of life who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability and other aspects of their life. The Human Library provides the opportunity for the community to share and understand the experiences of others in their community.
There are a lot of things the Lynchburg community can gain from this event. Participants, both volunteers and the public, can gain the understanding that dialogue between people can work to break the barriers that separate us. Additionally, participants will walk away with the mutual understanding of being human beyond a single identity. Our volunteers cherish the experience to share their narrative with others and forge new connections.
“Books” in this session: