Interested in meeting new people and talking about good books? Look no further than IndyHub Book Club. Started in spring 2020 IndyHub Book Club is dedicated to bringing people together virtually or in-person. With all the great books that fill our Indianapolis Public Library shelves we’re sure you’ll be able to find something that peaks your interest and stretches your personal growth.
WHY DO WE LOVE BOOK CLUB SO MUCH?
We know humans need community and to feel a sense of belonging. Our Book Club is an organic way to meet new people and talk about issues that matter here locally.
So whether you’re looking to meet new people or dive into topical issues we’ve got a Book Club for you.
HOW DOES BOOK CLUB WORK | You’ll read a few chapters each week and connect with residents around the city for an hour or so to reflect, discuss and learn together. Come ready to share your thoughts and make new friends!
communityCO-HOSTS: Natalia Rodriguez-Hilt and Cari Morales
Book: Lead from the Outside By Stacey Abrams
Natalia and Cari met in 2018 through their mutual friend – who is also Natalia’s brother! In addition to being alumni of The 1828 Leadership Project, Natalia and Cari both work at the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis office. Through their work at LISC, they aim to improve life expectancy, increase economic mobility, and close the racial equity gap through a comprehensive and resident-driven approach designed to address the social determinants of health.
They selected Lead from the Outside because both Natalia and Cari were very impressed with Stacey Abrams’ leadership style and professional journey. They hope that this book will allow others to learn more about her career trajectory and be inspired by it. Book club participants can expect a respectful space to share their thoughts, learn from one another, network and have fun!
PREVIOUS BOOK CLUB LEADERS
community CO-HOSTS: ALEX SIMONTON AND MARY CASINO
Book: Leave The World Behind By Rumaan Alam
Indy connected Alex & Mary because of their love for IndyHub & their book club. Outside of being fierce and loyal advocates for IndyHub, Mary is a Visiting Scientist Fellow at Eli Lilly and Co and Alex is the Director of Strategy for IU Health Foundation. Additionally, Mary led as the IndyHub intern extraordinaire and Alex currently sits on the IndyHub Board of Directors.
They selected this book because it touches on the complexities of race, class, family, and success. Alex and Mary find the book to be mysterious, intriguing and an interesting read to start 2021 that will be compelling for a diverse audience to enjoy. Book club participants can expect genuine and thought provoking conversations. their book club is a safe space for open dialogue, networking and a judgement free zone (of course also fun)!
community CO-HOSTS: JADEN BROWN AND JOE PERIN
Book: Lord Of The Flies by William Golding
Through IndyHub’s example of connecting people, Jaden & Joe first met through an IndyHub board member. They continued building a relationship by volunteering time with IndyVolved and other common interest community engagements.
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies speaks to the gravitational pull of good vs evil. This fictional story will provide the opportunity for participants to explore their instinctual beliefs and understand others perspectives. As a participant, you are welcomed into the open circle of discussion where we will use the story to highlight the differences in opinions and how society norms play out, especially when there is no society. In doing so the group is bound to have different opinions, leading to real learning as we discuss and being to see things from other’s lenses.
When they aren’t book clubbing these two talented leaders are being change agents and shaping the city. Jaden is the Director of Chapter Services at Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and Joe serves as the Talent Program Operations Manager at TechPoint. Additionally, Jaden and Joe have shared their time and talents as IndyVolved committee members and City Ambassadors. Learn more about this dynamic duo by reading more from their biographies.
Community co-hosts: Christina Lear and Rico Francis
Book: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Indy connected Christina and Rico through their passion to serve students. Christina is the principal at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and Rico is the Manager for Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. Indianapolis Metropolitan High School is one of 45 school partners with Indianapolis Teaching Fellows.
They chose this book because Indianapolis has the 14th highest eviction rate in the country. As we enter another economic recession and a statewide eviction moratorium ends, there has never been a more important time for young leaders in our city to focus on housing.
Dedicated community servants, Christina and Rico are a force to know. Christina is the Principal at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and Rico serves as the Manager for Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. Learn more about these incredible millennial leaders by reading more from their biographies.
COMMUNITY CO-HOSTS: MARIAH BARBER AND SARA HINDI
Book: The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America by Bernard L. Fraga
Mariah and Sara met when they were undergraduate students at IUPUI where they were both recipients of the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship Program, which is awarded to civic-minded students. They both graduated in 2016 from IUPUI’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
They chose their book because despite the fight of minority groups for their right to vote, there remains a major gap in voter turnout between white Americans and non-White Americans. In America, your vote is your voice and we must ensure that ALL Americans have access to the ballot box.
When they aren’t book clubbing these two talented leaders are being change agents and shaping the city. Mariah works as the Safety + Security Manager at Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Sara is Exodus Refugee’s community engagement coordinator. Learn more about this dynamic duo by reading more from their biographies.
Community Co-hosts: Clayton De Fur and Lourenzo Giple
Book: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
Clayton and Lourenzo sat next to each other at a PUP Daylight event last summer and got to know one another that night. In addition, they are both IndyHub 1828 Project alum.
They chose The Color of Law because provides a historical look at how policy, specifically redlining, has directly impacted our neighborhoods over time and shaped what they are today. We all call some place in our city home, and that place didn’t just happen organically. Each neighborhood is a result of policy and the market.
These two talented leaders are a force to know. Clayton is the Senior Community Leadership Officer at Central Indiana Community Foundation and Lourenzo is a Designer at Rottmann Collier Architects. Learn more about each of these community leaders by reading more from their biographies.
Community Co-hosts: Patrick Hall and Kateri Whitley
Book: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Kateri and Patrick met through this book club! In very IndyHub fashion, they were brought together by mutual friends on staff and share a connection by being alumni of the IndyHub 1828 Project.
They chose this book because perspective and empathy are needed to understand how racism shaped the world we live in and push us to do something to change it. Kateri and Patrick believe this memoir, written in the form of a letter from father to son, will give readers a better understanding of what our Black brothers and sisters experience, which in turn will assist us in being allies in action for creating more equitable communities.
When they aren’t book clubbing these are two talented leaders to know. Patrick is a Development Officer at Kiwanis International and Kateri is the Director of Communications at The Mind Trust. Learn more about these incredible millennial leaders by reading more from their biographies.
Community Co-hosts: Sarah Myer and Elyssa Campodonico-Barr
Book: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Sarah and Elyssa met through the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (Class XLII) with Leadership Indianapolis.
They chose their book because similar to their leadership experiences they want to engage in vulnerable and open discussions. They want their Book Club friends to feel a sense of belonging and community as they dig into Dare to Lead by Brené Brown.
When they aren’t book clubbing these are two powerful women to know. Elyssa is the President & CEO of Girls Inc. Indy and Sarah is the Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Indiana Sports Corp. Learn more about each of these community leaders by reading more from their biographies.
Community Co-hosts: Taylor Schaffer and Greg Stowers
Book: You’re More Powerful Than You Think by Eric Liu
Greg and Taylor both graduated from Indiana State University (Go Trees), but it was the world of politics that brought them together as friends. They chose their book because they believe in candid conversations. They are both idealistic — they wouldn’t have taken on the jobs they’ve had without a healthy dose of optimism and too many episodes of The West Wing. But having survived long days and disappointing outcomes, they are also realistic about what it takes to actually get things done. They want their Book Club friends to feel welcome and open to discuss societal topics that will help move important conversations forward.
When they aren’t book clubbing these two talented leaders are a force to know. Taylor is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Indianapolis and Greg is Key Club International Director for Kiwanis International. Learn more about these incredible millennial leaders by reading more from their biographies.
IndyHub Staff Member: Blake Johnson
Book: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Blake Johnson is the President of IndyHub, but he also serves Indy residents as a City-County Councillor. He’s dedicated his life to working in the civic and social sectors as he believes together and united humans are incredibly powerful. He chose his book because the common theme of the book aligns directly with his personal belief: Even though we’re strangers we’re more common than we think and we have shared experiences that bring us together.
IndyHub Staff Member: Ashley Miser
Book: Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Ashley Miser is the Director of Strategy of IndyHub. She engages with IndyHub’s volunteers, young professional groups and the Indianapolis community through Core Connections. Ashley chose “Everything is Figureoutable” because she’s always aiming to tackle issues head-on and learning best practices on how to do this as an emerging leader is challenging. This book and the entire Marie Forleo lifestyle gives readers action steps to becoming a more productive driver in our society both personally and professionally. The book can be summarized through the Maya Angelou quote, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’
IndyHub Staff Member: Hannah Thomas
Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Hannah Thomas is the Communications & Advocacy Manager of IndyHub. She is the voice behind IndyHub’s network of more than 50,000 Indy 20- and 30-somethings. Hannah selected “Becoming” to learn more about the 44th First Lady of the United States’ journey in finding her voice and confidence through her career in public service. This book is a testament to the notion that we are always on the journey to becoming. Being vulnerable with your story and where you come from can truly impact others and Michelle Obama’s memoir speaks to the power of that.
IndyHub Staff Member: Katelyn Sussli
Book: House Arrest by K.A. Holt
Katelyn Sussli is the Community & Events Manager of IndyHub. Coming from a large family, Katelyn loves to bring people together, especially when it involves exploring new places. She chose her book because during a period of stay-at home orders and social distancing, House Arrest addresses the concept of “normal” and how quickly routines can evolve into our new normal based on external and internal factors. The main character, Timothy, spends a lot of time thinking about the word “normal” as he navigates a sick brother, grieving mother, as well as his own probation and house arrest. It was also a library book that she had checked out (and had renewed several times!)
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