Reading Together 2011

Special Events

Reading Together features a wide variety of programs, including films, exhibits, expert presentations, author visits, and more.

All events are free and open to the public, except as noted*.

Thursday, February 10, 6:30 pm, Central Library

Appreciating Kidder 

Dr. William Combs, Western Michigan University professor emeritus of English, examines Kidder’s writing and reveals why readers and reviewers praise his research and insight. Call 269-553-7913 for more information.


Thursday, March 10, 2011, 7 pm, Chenery Auditorium

Meet the Author: Tracy Kidder 

Meet Tracy Kidder on March 10, 7 pm, at Chenery Auditorium. Book signing will follow presentation. Books available for purchase at the event.

No ticket needed; Open seating


Sunday, March 06, 2 pm, Portage District Library

The Immigrant Story: Reception and Panel Discussion 

A panel of photographers and immigrants explore why people immigrate to the United States. Music by Dunuya Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Reception 2 pm, Panel Discussion 3 pm.


Monday, March 14, 7 pm, Central Library

History of Burundi and Rwanda 

Kalamazoo College African studies professor Joseph Bangura presents a geopolitical survey of Burundi and Rwanda, including pre-colonial and colonial history, civil wars and current events.


Tuesday, March 15, 12:30 pm, Oshtemo Branch Library

Screening: The Power of Forgiveness 

Forgiveness is more powerful than tragedy. Screening of documentary produced for the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love & Forgiveness followed by conversation led by Barry Burnside of Gryphon Place.


Wednesday, March 16, 12:30 pm, WMU College of Health and Human Services, Rm 1010

Medicine, Here and Abroad 

What are the challenges of providing medical care in developing countries? Does it differ from serving the poor here at home? Our diverse panelists will discuss and answer questions.


Friday, March 18, 7:30 pm, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Stryker Theatre

Hotel Rwanda 

The true story of courage in an ordinary man. Don Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who saved thousands of refugees during the 1994 civil war in Rwanda. Admission, $3.


Wednesday, March 23, 7 pm, Central Library

Education for the Arts Multimedia Showcase 

Inspired by Strength in What Remains, Education for the Arts students in Design for Digital Media and Advanced Multimedia classes will present their animation, graphic design and video creations.


Tuesday, March 29, 6:30 pm, Central Library

Rebuilding Burundi 

Former U.S. Congressman Howard Wolpe, the Clinton and Obama administrations’ special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region, will discuss his work at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Leadership Project in Burundi.


Thursday, March 31, 6:30 pm, Portage District Library

The Art of Creative Nonfiction 

Creative nonfiction brings together literary memoir and biography, the personal essay and literary journalism. Gail Griffin and Katherine Joslin help us better appreciate the craft.


Monday, April 04, 2 pm, Oshtemo Branch Library

Moving Beyond Tragedy 

Fr. Kenneth Schmidt, Sharon Froom and Olga Bonfiglio talk about their varied experiences in Rwanda, where they led trauma recovery workshops for priests, medical and school personnel in southeastern Rwanda.


Tuesday, April 05, 6:30 pm, Washington Square Branch Library

A Tour of World Literature

The popular and growing genre of world literature includes books that capture what’s going on in other parts of the globe. Elizabeth Amidon, WMU English professor, guides a world tour of authors and books.


Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 pm, Portage United Church of Christ

Refugee Resettlement: A Local Story 

How do refugee resettlement programs operate? A Rwandan mother and son tell the story of their family’s arrival in the U.S. and how the Portage United Church of Christ community helped them make their new home.


Thursday, April 14, 7 pm, Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College

Solar Em-Power-Ment 

Meet a Michigan family impelled to action by their first-hand experience of the after-effects of the Rwandan genocide. Learn about the southwest Michigan company that developed the solar K-Light used in Africa.


Monday, May 16, 7 pm, Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College

Where There Is Health, There Is Hope

Meet Deogratias “Deo” Niyizonkiza, the man who inspired Tracy Kidder’s book, Strength in What Remains! Deo founded Village Health Works (VHW) on the principle that all humans have the right to quality health care.