Indiana University East will celebrate the second year of the “One Book, Many Voices” project when classes begin in August 2013. The project mission is to foster a campus and community discussion about themes and ideas inspired by a common text in an effort to develop camaraderie, inform knowledge, and inspire action towards positive civic engagement and improvement.
The featured book is Wine to Water, by Doc Hendley. Just as the subtitle indicates, the book is about “how one man saved himself while trying to save the world.” A bartender from North Carolina, Hendley became aware of the global water crisis and decided that he needed to and could do something about it.
Hendley mobilized his network of colleagues, family, and friends and began fundraising in order to contribute aid towards this cause, travelled to Darfur, entered some of the most dangerous areas in the region with little training or support, and started the work that led to the emergence of his non-profit organization, “Wine to Water.” The book tells the story of this journey and emphasizes how one individual, who possesses the willingness to act, can have a profound impact on the world.
According to Katherine Frank, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and organizer of the project, this book was selected because of its important themes and strong call to action.
Frank said when IU East decided to launch this project last year, the university was inspired by the community conversation being motivated by such initiatives as Positive Place.
“Since last year, we have seen these conversations turn to action through the help of the January BOOST/Positive Place event featuring Jim Walker, founder and president of Big Car in Indianapolis. Walker emphasized the importance of seizing the opportunity for ‘quick wins’ to help the community, and we have seen such ‘quick wins’ in the form of new community organizations like Sprout of Control, community events like City Life, and community spaces like IU East’s new downtown gallery and art studios,” Frank said.
We have also witnessed Richmond’s ‘Stellar’ designation and are excited about the opportunities for positive change that this will bring. We feel that Doc Hendley’s story and message are timely and will allow us to think more about how each of us can act in order to produce positive change in our lives, community, region, and the world.”
The project will take place from August through December 2013. Hendley will visit Richmond and speak at an event open to the public on November 13 at IU East as well as at the university’s annual Spirit of Philanthropy Luncheon on November 14. Free tickets for the event on November 13 are now available at the Office of the Bursar, located in Whitewater Hall, at IU East.
Community partners have already started thinking about possible intersections with existing and new events. Helping Young Professionals Engage Richmond (HYPE) has agreed to donate a portion of its proceeds from its annual winetasting event, “For the Love of Grapes,” to Wine to Water, book clubs are reviewing the book, and other events are being planned that will be included on the project website and community calendar. Books are available for purchase at the IU East bookstore as well as available for borrowing at the Morrisson-Reeves Library.
“The ‘One Book, Many Voices’ project was a tremendous success last year,” Frank said. “We had more than 20 community partners involved and 50 events on the project calendar. We hope to exceed these impressive numbers this year and are confident that the themes in this book and its author will resonate with the campus and the community. Wine to Water is an inspiring read.”