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Read to Make a Difference

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Every month we will read and discuss books written by local BIPOC authors on social justice. The purpose of the UUUM Book Club is to create a safe and inclusive space where members can come together to read, discuss, and reflect on books that shed light on critical social issues, promote empathy, and inspire positive change in the world. Through these thought-provoking reads, we aim to:

  • Raise Awareness

  • Foster Empathy

  • Engage in Constructive Dialogue

  • Inspire Action

  • Promote Diverse Voices

  • Create Lasting Connections

  • Learn and Grow

Through this book club, we hope to make a positive impact, both within ourselves and in the world around us. By immersing ourselves in literature that calls for justice, equality, and compassion, we envision becoming catalysts for positive change and advocates for a more inclusive and just society. Together, we embark on this transformative literary journey, united in our commitment to social justice.


People Before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making

by Karilyn Crockett

About the Book:

In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts government officials started hatching a plan to build multiple highways circling and cutting through the heart of Boston, making steady progress through the 1950s. But when officials began to hold public hearings in 1960, as it became clear what this plan would entail―including a disproportionate impact on poor communities of color - the people pushed back.

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Activists, many withexperience in the civil rights and antiwar protests, began to organize.


Linking archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, and oral history, Karilyn Crockett in People before Highways offers ground-level analysis of the social, political, and environmental significance of a local anti-highway protest and its lasting national implications. The story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists emerged to stop an interstate highway is one full of suspenseful twists and surprises.

UUUM Book Club Structure

  1. Book Selection: Each month, we will read and discuss one book on social justice written by a local BIPOC authors. The books have been pre-ordered through Frugal Bookstore and will be shipped to the member after they register for UUUM Book Club.

  2. Meeting Frequency: We will meet three times a month. The first meeting will be in-person, the second meeting will be held virtually via Zoom, and the third meeting will be a special session [ideally] with the book's author. The author's availability and preference will determine whether the session is in-person or virtual. Details about the date, time, and location will be communicated closer to the meeting dates.

  3. Meeting Agenda: The book club meeting will last for two hours. A week before each meeting, we will email the agenda to all participants.

  4. Food: During our in-person meetings, food will be provided from a local BIPOC restaurant. 

  5. Membership: We aim to have a diverse and inclusive group. There will be 10 members in total, with members representing both our neighborhood and member congregations.

  6. Pre-work Sheet: We highly recommend all participants complete the Pre-work sheet before each meeting. This will enhance the discussion and enable everyone to contribute meaningfully.

  7. Post-session Feedback: After each book club session, we encourage participants to share their reviews and feedback. Your insights will help us improve and provide better reading experiences.

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Karilyn Crockett earned a a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. Her research focuses on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty.  Her dissertation, "People Before Highways: Reconsidering Routes to and from the Boston Anti-Highway Movement," investigates a 1960s-era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the interstate highway system, and forms the basis of her book of the same name.

Prior to coming to DUSP, Karilyn served as the Director of Economic Policy and Research, and Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston. She most recently served as the City of Boston's first Chief of Equity. 

About the Author:


The UUUM Book Club aims to create an engaging opportunity for our UU members to connect with our friends in Roxbury.  If you would like to join us, please register by clicking the button below.

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*We will provide free books to all the Roxbury residents who sign up for our book club.

After registering to join our book club, you will receive the UUUM Book Club Guideline Package with details about the meeting dates, times, and locations in your email within two business days. This guideline package will also include all the information on the UUUM book club and a prework sheet with discussion questions. 


If you have any questions, or would like further information about the UUUM Book Club, contact:

Subu Karmacharya

Partnerships Coordinator 


p: 617.599.5024

We are happy to be partnering with:
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