Carol Jackson| Movers & Shakers 2019 – Advocates

The killing of Philando Castile in 2016 occurred just blocks from Ramsey County Library’s (RCL) largest and busiest branch, Roseville. As RCL worked to provide programming in response to racism and inequity, a grassroots organization started by two locals, Do Good Roseville, hosted an event suggested by resident and DGR member Nyia Harris: “Ask a Black Man.” It featured a panel discussion and audience Q&A. The library and DGR agreed to collaborate to continue the “Ask” series, bimonthly discussions moderated by Harris, giving voice to the community’s underrepresented residents.

Carol Jackson

CURRENT POSITION

Branch Manager/Adult Programming Coordinator, Ramsey County Library, Shoreview, MN

DEGREE

MLIS, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul/Dominican University, River Forest, IL, 2003

FOLLOW

carlyslibrary.blogspot.com; www.mntheaterlove.com; facebook.com/Readers-Advisory-Round-Table-MLA-291724800944275

Photo ©2019 Matt Lawrence Photography

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The killing of Philando Castile in 2016 occurred just blocks from Ramsey County Library’s (RCL) largest and busiest branch, Roseville. As RCL worked to provide programming in response to racism and inequity, a grassroots organization started by two locals, Do Good Roseville (DGR), hosted an event suggested by resident and DGR member Nyia Harris: “Ask a Black Man.” It featured a panel discussion and audience Q&A. The library and DGR agreed to collaborate to continue the “Ask” series, bimonthly discussions moderated by Harris, giving voice to the community’s underrepresented residents. The first program, Ask a Muslim Woman, drew a standing-room-only crowd of 140.

RCL went on to host other Ask programs, many recorded by local cable access station CTV: Ask a Veteran, a [DACA] Dreamer, an LGBTQIA Person, a Transracial Adoptive Parent, a Refugee, an Indigenous Person, and, most recently, Ask About Human Trafficking. “At every discussion, panelists shared their stories, answered audience questions, and provided education and insight,” Jackson says.

In cooperation with DGR and the YWCA of Minneapolis, RCL also presented Confronting Racism programs, which led to the Hard Truths Social Justice Book Club. Another collaboration, with Roseville Alzheimer’s & Dementia Community Action Team, produced a monthly series for people with memory loss and their caregivers, as well as the creation of Memory Minders kits for caregivers and for discussing dementia with children.

“So many positive relationships occur by saying yes,” Jackson says. “Yes, let’s meet and talk, yes, let’s explore the possibilities. And yes, let’s work together.”

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