Words of Change

September 16, 2020

By: Maddy Eppli

Reading, sharing, and learning together: Deloitte’s SHINE community engages in a social justice book club

Although physically distant, Deloitte’s SHINE community continues to stand strong and find new ways to stay connected throughout the summer months. For those unaware of the program, SHINE is a campus hire marketing rotational program that provides support to teams across Deloitte’s marketing practice. What makes SHINE unique is not just the breadth of experience gained from its rotational structure, but the emphasis on fostering a tight-knit community of young professionals. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, a group of current and former
SHINErs came together (virtually) to talk – and read – about race and inequality in America.

The 13-person group kicked off their social justice book club by reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. BTWAM is written as a long-form letter from Coates to his fifteen-year-old son, describing his experience with bias and institutional racism growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. The group convened twice via video conference, where they discussed the novel’s themes and structure, and reflected on how Coates’ powerful words sparked a change in perspective for the reader. After finishing the book, many participants shared how reading BTWAM inspired them to be increasingly critical of their own unconscious bias, as well as encouraged them to approach others with tolerance and understanding.

One SHINE Associate reflected: “…participating in the social justice book club was a great experience. Not only was it a way for myself and my colleagues to educate ourselves on the issues of race and injustice, it gave us the opportunity to build community during a stressful time and create a safe space to share ideas and have difficult discussions.”

Continuing the conversation into the fall, the SHINE social justice book club will be reading and discussing Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis. Leading the group for round two is Ryan Carp of the September 2019 Rosslyn SHINE class.

“I’m so fortunate and excited to be leading the group discussions this time around…I hope we can use [Walking with the Wind] as an opportunity to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and as inspiration to follow in John Lewis’ footsteps and ‘get in good trouble’ for what we believe in.”