Members of a Keuka College (NY) Intercultural Studies class organized the institution’s first Human Library, where people served as the “books,” sharing parts of their life stories. During Keuka’s event, eight people representing some of the institution’s diversity were the “books” while approximately 40 “readers” engaged with them through 30-minute conversations. The “books” were titled: “Gender Fluid,” “Jamaican-Born-U.S.-Citizen,” “Anxious,” "Chinese Adoptee,” “Bulimic,” “Black,” "Transman” and “Foster Care Adoptee.” A respectful dialogue followed with the purpose of raising awareness about issues such as body image, mental health, foster care and more.

“This is the perfect project to give first-hand experience to what we talk about in (intercultural studies) class,” Dr. Lauren Shaw, an adjunct instructor of Spanish, said in a news release. “This is much more meaningful and powerful than anything I could tell them.”

Read more about Keuka’s Human Library project here.

And learn more about the larger Human Library initiative, founded in Denmark in 2001 to promote human rights and social cohesion, here.