In Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Ibram X Kendi Blog image

Join community members across California and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi to discuss How to Be An Antiracist, a 2021 Book to Action selection and the 2020-2021 Book in Common at Chico State. Dr. Kendi will participate in a conversation on April 21 from 5:30-6:30pm, moderated by Dr. Kim Jaxon, Professor of English at Chico State, and Bre Holbert, Associated Students’ President and Agricultural Science and Education major. Dr. Kendi will be introduced by Beatriz Preciado of OC Public Libraries. The conversation will situate the central themes of the book, including definitions and examples of antiracism and racism, and discuss how to move from reflection to meaningful action on issues of racial equity.  

Participants can ask questions for Dr. Kendi in advance using this form.

Kendi’s concept of antiracism reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. As antiracist leader Ijeoma Oluo notes, “Ibram Kendi’s work, through both his books and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, is vital in today’s sociopolitical climate. As a society, we need to start treating antiracism as action, not emotion – and Kendi is helping us to do that.”

One of America’s foremost historians, Kendi is a leader among antiracist scholars, and a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of seven books. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News Racial Justice Contributor. He is also the 2020-21 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Dr. Kendi’s most recent book is Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, co-edited with Keisha N. Blain, which engages eighty different contributors to tell the history of the 400 years since the first African slave ship, the White Lion, arrived in the colony of Virginia.  

The Book in Common is a shared, community read, designed to promote discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. How to Be an Antiracist was adopted as the Book in Common by Chico State, the City of Chico, the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, and Butte College. The conversation with Dr. Kendi caps off a year of events and programming on this year’s Book in Common. Visit for additional resources related to the Book in Common, as well as recorded webinars, including last fall’s featured presentation by Dr. Nandi Sojourner Crosby, “Walking the Talk: Anti-Racist Work in Our Everyday Lives.” Also, free of cost, please consider joining Chico State and Butte College students, faculty, and staff as they continue to meet on Zoom to discuss specific chapters from How to Be an Antiracist. Details can be found on the Book in Common website.  

This event is made possible through partnerships with the Book to Action initiative from California Center for the Book and California Library Association; OC Public Libraries; Butte College’s Diversity Committee; and the Office of the President and the Division of Academic Affairs at Chico State.  

Book to Action 2021 initiatives tackle important issues in the community and encourage reading, community discussion, and action. The Big 3 themes that libraries and communities are focused on in 2021 are Equity, Sustainability, and Health.

California Center for the Book is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

OC Public Libraries is a network of community libraries in Orange County, California. With 32 public branches, virtual programs, literacy services, hotspot internet lending, and a collection of millions of materials in various languages, OC Public Libraries aims to empower and enrich its communities. Visit for more information.

Event Information