In July of 2006 Howard Mason started a book club for social change as an extension of his work as Director of Community Building for the Metro United Way. The idea for the book club was born out of a series of seminars for social change entrepreneurs held by the Metro United Way. Mason wanted to see a continuation of the success of the seminars and decided a book club would be a fitting avenue to cultivate a forum of support for those who feel a call to create positive social change.
It is typically Mason who chooses the books each month but he is wide open to suggestions. One particular work that embodies the essence of the book club is, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D. and Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D. The book speaks of the emergence of a new group of people who do not identify with either traditional or modern ideals. “The Cultural Creatives care deeply about ecology, relationships, peace and social justice, about self- actualization, spirituality and self-expression,” writes Mason in his synopsis of the book. He says that the book club members themselves could absolutely be included in those converging to form this new sub-culture. Another common thread in those that participate in the book club is that they all have a desire to find their roll in the advancement of the common good. “It’s about the realization that we are all in this together,” explains Mason
Mason hopes the book club will provide the answers to three important questions for those involved. First, “what is my roll as a social change maker?” Second, “what do I need to learn to be effective as a social change maker?” And last, “where can I experience community with other social change makers?”
“When someone believes in their heart that they can make a better world, they are up against potential ridicule and disbelief. We want to let people know that they can make a difference,” asserts Mason. The book club meets every third Monday. Meetings for September and October will be held at Heine Bros. Coffee at 119 Chenoweth Lane in St. Matthews. For more information about the book club, email Howard Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.