Break Barriers, Build Bridges at the Human Library on March 22

Break Barriers, Build Bridges at the Human Library on March 22

by Kassidy Taylor

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stack of books

You've been taught to never judge a book by its cover, and UNH Manchester is putting the thought into action by bringing the Human Library to campus on March 22. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the UNH Manchester library will be checking out "human books," people who have faced adversity in their lives and have volunteered to share their personal stories.

The Human Library is a worldwide project designed to bring people together to challenge the views that lead to misunderstanding, prejudice and discrimination within communities. "Readers" have the unique opportunity to talk to people they may not otherwise meet, allowing open conversation about different backgrounds, lifestyles and identities.

Organized by the its library and Diversity & Inclusive Excellence Committee, UNH Manchester's Human Library features stories of immigration, addiction, discrimination and more. On March 22, the following human books will be available for 15-minute increments:

Born Without Computing Experiences, He Wants to Be an IT Professional

Originally from the Republic of South Sudan, Africa, this human book came to the United States in 2004. Like many first-generation immigrants, he has been working hard to achieve his American Dream of becoming an application developer, database developer or network analyst.

Easy Does It: Being Sober in Your Twenties

For many, turning 21 opens up a world of social opportunities. But for this human book, clubs and bars are not an option. Recovering from addiction and alcoholism has led to a total restructuring of their social life. Learn about the challenges young people face today as they commit to sobriety.

From Mexico to the USA: A Strong Woman's Story

Are you here legally? This is one of the many questions this human book faces as a Mexican immigrant, who came here legally under a spouse visa. With the talk of the border wall, the stereotyping of Mexicans as criminals has has only deepened. Hear the experiences of what it's like to be an immigrant seeking the American dream in a divided nation.

Indebted to Those Who Suffered: Grandchild of Holocaust Survivors

Their grandfather was shot when he tried to escape, and grandmother dressed as a German peasant to sneak supplies into prisoners. This human book was molded into the person they are today by the legends of these and other family members who experienced the devastating prejudice of being Jewish during the Holocaust.

Inaudible Human from an Inaudible Community

This human book is a proud American Sign Language (ASL) native user. As the third generation in a culturally Deaf family, they survived throes of oppression and banishment of ASL, which was only recently recognized as a language by bonafide linguists.

Jewish Dykes Adopting Kids

As a Jewish lesbian, this human book has confronted stereotyping via anti-Semitism, sexism, transphobia and heteronormativity—and they want to share their experiences in a Jewish, multiracial, adoptive, queer family.

A Mexican Immigrant's Story

Despite having a career as a Software Engineer and a degree in computer science, this human book has often experienced being stereotyped as non-educated because they came to the U.S. from Mexico. Learn more about the adversity that immigrants face as they seek the American dream.

Quite the Oddity: My Experience as a Woman with Asperger's

New Hampshirite, website developer and lover of Japanese video games, animation and culture—this human book isn't defined by Asperger's syndrome.

A Swastika Scratched Into the Hood of My Car

The day before their wedding, this human book discovered a swastika scratched into the hood of their car. Hear the experiences of an LGBT activist trying to challenge the fear and ignorance that breeds prejudice.

Who Am I, Really?

An immigrant from Turkey, this human book has struggled with ethnic identity over the years. Learn what it's like to assimilate into American culture, and the discrimination that immigrants from Middle Eastern nations face in the post-9/11 world.

You Must Be Weak and Lazy

There's a lot of media attention about gender equality, yet women still experience discrimination in respect to socioeconomic and relationship status. This human book will share her life experiences as a low-income single parent and victim of domestic violence, and the discrimination often linked with each.

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