Book and Learning Circles

Employee and Organization Development hosts book and learning circles throughout the year which are open to all Cal Poly employees. Book and learning circles are great opportunities to engage with colleagues in thoughtful discussion around common themes of interest.

Book Circles involve discussing a book over three sessions. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the selected book with the expectation that they will engage in all discussion sessions. Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article, and participating in a discussion during a single session. Please join us for one, or more, of these enriching conversations!

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? [Book Circle]

By Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? In Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.

  • Facilitators: Sarah Macdonald, Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Sonia Ramrakhiani, CSM – School of Education, and Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 12:00 – 1:00pm on Jan 16, Jan 23, Jan 30, and Feb 6
  • Location: Room 209 of Building 35

Please note: CTLT is also offering this as a book circle and you can view more information and register at: https://ctlt.calpoly.edu/book-circles-winter-2020

Forget Big Change, Start With a Tiny Habit [TED Talk]

By BJ Fogg

What if someone told you to floss only one tooth every day? Or start the New Year, not with grand resolutions, but with a simple challenge, like ONE pushup a day? BJ Fogg shows us that the key to lasting change does not lie in planning big, monumental changes, but in thinking really, really small. Join us as we view the recorded TedTalk then engage in discussion about what this means and how we can apply it to our work and home life.

  • Facilitator: Li Guan, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 12:00 – 1:00pm on Jan 22
  • Location: Room 105 of Building 36 (within UPD Building)

How Incivility Shuts Down Our Brains at Work [Video]

By Christine Porath, PhD

Dr. Christine Porath studies how workplace culture impacts individuals with the goal of creating organizations that thrive. The little actions we take can make work a better place. Do our actions lift people up and make them feel respected or hold people down, and make them feel small and disregarded? Dr. Porath’s research has demonstrated that uncivil behaviors have a major, negative impact on well-being, creativity and productivity. She also found the effects of incivility are far-reaching; witnesses to incivility are also significantly impacted. Learn why incivility can take such a stronghold, how incivility affects our culture and how we can address it.

  • Facilitator: Lisa Gray, Human Resources
  • Time and Dates: 12:00 – 1:00pm on Feb 27
  • Location: Room 133 of Building 01

Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk?[TED Talk]

By Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

In this talk, Dr. Tatum, clinical psychologist, former President of Spelman College, and author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, highlights some of the surprises she experienced with her young son about race and the formation of racial identity. She discusses her realization that it is the things we don’t say and the matters we don’t discuss with our children that find their way into racist dialogue and thinking. Join us as we view the recorded TedTalk then engage in discussion about her discoveries and how we can apply that to our work and interactions at Cal Poly.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 12:00 – 1:00pm on Mar 5
  • Location: Room 133 of Building 01

Daring Greatly [Book Circle]

By Brené Brown

Back by popular demand is Dr. Brown's book, Daring Greatly. Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

  • Facilitators: Lanaya Gaberel and Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 12:00 – 1:00pm on Mar 12, Mar 19, Mar 26, and Apr 2
  • Location: Room 133 of Building 01

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) also hosts book circles each quarter and you can learn more about their offerings by selecting “Book Circles” on their Programs and Services webpage at: https://ctlt.calpoly.edu/programs-services.