Cyrus Webb reviews Demystifying Diversity

When it comes to the topic of diversity it can honestly go in so many directions. What I would say about Daralyse Lyons’ new book Demystifying Diversity: Embracing our Shared Humanity is that she strives to break it down to more than a US against THEM and see the why.

Through the interviews and her own personal observations we see how being singled out or labeled as impacted others. It also does something I wasn’t expecting. It turns the tables repeatedly on the reader, forcing us to ask what would we do or who would we be. In horrific events in history would be the one who was the oppressed or would we be the oppressor? Would we stand up for what is right or will be stay by? These questions are difficult but necessary if we are going to see things really move forward in a positive (and productive) way.

There’s another thing that Daralyse discusses in the book that is sure to step on some toes. I know it did mine. That being the words we use to categorize things, like being “good” for eating a salad or “bad” for not. The impact of what we say as well as what we do can impact the way people see themselves and feel about themselves.

Bottom line is we’re ALL a work in progress. This book challenges us to identify the work we ALL have to do and get about doing it.

U.P. Reader -- Volume #5 [HC]

SKU 978-1-61599-572-1
$28.95
: Bringing Upper Michigan Literature to the World
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula is blessed with a treasure trove of storytellers, poets, and historians, all seeking to capture a sense of Yooper Life from settler's days to the far-flung future. Since 2017, the U.P. Reader offers a rich collection of their voices that embraces the U.P.'s natural beauty and way of life, along with a few surprises.

The forty-one short works in this fifth annual volume take readers on U.P. road and boat trips from the Keweenaw to the Soo. Every page is rich with descriptions of the characters and culture that make the Upper Peninsula worth living in and writing about. U.P. writers span genres from humor to history and from science fiction to poetry. This issue also includes imaginative fiction from the Dandelion Cottage Short Story Award winners, honoring the amazing young writers enrolled in all of the U.P.'s schools.

Featuring the words of Karen Dionne, Barbara Bartel, T. Marie Bertineau, Don Bodey, Craig A. Brockman, Stephanie Brule, Larry Buege, Tricia Carr, Deborah K. Frontiera, Elizabeth Fust, Robert Grede, Charles Hand, Kathy Johnson, Sharon Kennedy, Chris Kent, Tamara Lauder, Teresa Locknane, Ellen Lord, Becky Ross Michael, Hilton Moore, Gretchen Preston, Donna Searight Simons, Frank Searight, T. Kilgore Splake, Ninie G. Syarikin, Tyler Tichelaar, Brandy Thomas, Donna Winters, Annabell Danker, Kyra Holmgren, Nicholas Painer, and Walter Dennis.

"Funny, wise, or speculative, the essays, memoirs, and poems found in the pages of these profusely illustrated annuals are windows to the history, soul, and spirit of both the exceptional land and people found in Michigan's remarkable U.P. If you seek some great writing about the northernmost of the state's two peninsulas look around for copies of the U.P. Reader. --Tom Powers, Michigan in Books

"U.P. Reader offers a wonderful mix of storytelling, poetry, and Yooper culture. Here's to many future volumes!" --Sonny Longtine, author of Murder in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

"As readers embark upon this storied landscape, they learn that the people of Michigan's Upper Peninsula offer a unique voice, a tribute to a timeless place too long silent." --Sue Harrison, international bestselling author of Mother Earth Father Sky

"I was amazed by the variety of voices in this volume. U.P. Reader offers a little of everything, from short stories to nature poetry, fantasy to reality, Yooper lore to humor. I look forward to the next issue." --Jackie Stark, editor, Marquette Monthly

The U.P. Reader is sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA) a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. A portion of proceeds from each copy sold will be donated to the UPPAA for its educational programming.

Learn more at www.UPReader.org

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