As part of our nation’s continuing conversation about the American Experience, Scotch Plains Public Library invites the public to participate in Voices from the Margins: Connecting Our Stories, a series of book discussions, films and events. The series will run from October 6, 2016 through June 19, 2017. Partnering with the library for this project are Social Justice Matters, Inc.(SJM) and The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education at Brookdale Community College.

Throughout this series, participants will view films, a play, and museum exhibits, and discuss books, all works chosen for the ways they portray belonging and otherness, community and marginalization.  Participants will be encouraged to share their own stories, histories, and memories. The programs will offer many opportunities for dialog and insight with the goal of moving our community closer to recognition of our commonality with authentic respect for our differences.  As an example, though Istanbul seems distant, we will see, through the work of Peter Balakian, how government policies in Istanbul over 100 years ago, have had a profound impact on our New Jersey culture.  Scotch Plains Public Library is pleased to welcome back Linda J. Caldwell Epps, Ph.D, who will serve as Project Scholar.

The Schedule at a Glance (for details consult the library web site: Events are held at the Scotch Plains Public Library unless otherwise stated. Programs are book discussions unless otherwise identified.

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October 6 @6:30                                            The Bluest Eye:  A Novel, by Toni Morrison
October 16 @ 2:00                                         Disgraced:  Performance @ McCarter Theater                   
November 7 @6:30                                        Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar               
November 20 @ 2pm                                     Montclair Museum Tour:  Undaunted Spirit
December 5    @ 6:30pm                               LaRose:  A novel by Louise Erdrich                                      
December 10 @ 2:00pm                                Newark Museum Tour:  Heroics                               
December 14 @6:30pm                                 Film:  All About Me                            
January 6 @ 6:30                                           The Brief & Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot  Diaz   
January 16 @ 1pm                                         MLK, Jr. Day Program:  Voting Rights (SJM)
February 23 @6:30                                         Maus I and II,  by Art Spiegelman                                         
March 27 @6:30                                             Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian                                                                                             
April 3 @ 6:30                                                 Skylark (film)                         
April 22 @ 2 -4 pm                                          Exhibit Opening:  A Journey to Life—Armenia (Chhange)               
April 30 @1-3 pm                                           Genocide Panel Discussion (Chhange)                    
June 5 @ 6:30                                                Americanah, by Chimamanda Nozi Adiche                          
June 19                                                           Junteenth celebration with SJM                                            

Library events are free for all, and books will be loaned and museum fees will be paid for the first twenty registrants. Once that number is reached, participants who can provide their own books will be welcomed. Theater tickets and transportation arrangements are not covered.  Theater and museum trips are optional. Priority will be given to people who commit to attending most of the book discussions. Register at or call (908) 322-5007, x204.

The series was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.