Category: Education

Timely topics like issues in the news, mental health, social justice, and more.

Authors of Union, Melvin Gravely Part One

November 16, 2021

Authors of Union features a conversation with one of our published authors. Your host is Dr. Linwood Rumney, professor in the UI&U General Education Program, poet and author. He is the winner of the 17th Annual Gival Press Poetry Award for Abandoned Earth. His poems and nonfiction essays have appeared in many publications including the North American Review and Crab Orchard Review. His translations of Aloysius Bertrand, an early practitioner of the modern prose poem in French, have appeared in Arts & Letters and Hayden’s Ferry Review. His fellowships include the American Antiquarian Society, The Writers’ Room of Boston, and the St. Botolph Club, as well as a residency from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. He recently completed his Ph.D. as a Charles Phelps Taft Dissertation Fellow at UC.

Today’s conversation (part one of two) is with Union Ph.D. ’99 alumnus Melvin Gravely II, author of Dear White Friend: The Realities of Race, the Power of Relationships, and Our Path to Equity. Dr. Gravely eloquently accomplishes what many have undoubtedly wished to do: talk openly to someone we know about race in the United States today. He uses significant experience as a business and civic leader to express a rare balance in this timely message. The book is a forthright, collegial conversation via chapters in the form of letters, each with a combination of personal reflection and meaningful hard facts. He challenges the reader but without judgment or indictment. His depth of thought, deftness of expression, and clear, layman’s terms make for an urgent call to begin to close the gap between races in America. The book presents an invitation to understand three questions at the heart of the issue: What is really going on with race in our country? Why must we care? And what can we do about it together? In the end, Dr. Gravely calls on us to ask ourselves, “What is my role in all of this?” After reading Dear White Friend: The Realities of Race, the Power of Relationships, and Our Path to Equity readers will understand why their answer to his question can change everything.