Bruce Goodman Free Little Library Unveiling and Dedication Planned

The Bruce Goodman Read in Color Little Free Library at JFS will be unveiled and dedicated on Sunday, September 11 at 2:00 p.m. The event will begin with the unveiling of the library, built by Highland Park residents Mike and Mary Link. When JFS Community Program Coordinator Anne Myers asked on the Highland Park Facebook page if anyone would be interested in building the structure, Mike and Mary volunteered. “Happy to help,” they said. “After all, reading is the door to learning and understanding.”

The library will feature artwork from Wendy Kieffer Shragg, an intuitively inspired mixed media artist and creator of The Playground Kids prints. “I met Wendy Shragg’s Playground Kids in the book Be Nice, The End,” said JFS Community Engagement Manager Jodi Saltzman. “The wisdom of the playground kids distills seven simple values that align with Read in Color and JFS’ mission. This book teaches us that all the playgrounds of life are better when everyone–no matter their age, skin color, ability, shape, or size, is included.”

After the library is unveiled, three panelists from More Than a Single Story will read selections from their book, We Are Meant to Rise. Kevin Yang is a Hmong American multidisciplinary artist from the Twin Cities with a focus on spoken word poetry and documentary filmmaking. He currently works at Twin Cities PBS and is a board member with Street Stops and Mountain Tops. He finds most of his artistic inspiration unraveling his Hmong American experience with others.Carolyn Holbrook is a writer, educator, and an advocate for the healing power of the arts. Her memoir, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (Minnesota 2020), won the 2021 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. She is founder and director of the Twin Cities-based conversation series, More Than a Single Story, and is co-editor with David Mura of the anthology, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World published by University of MN Press with More Than a Single Story (Minnesota 2021). She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and other community venues, and at Hamline University, where she won the exemplary teacher award in 2014.

The third panelist will be Tess Montgomery, is a digital marketing specialist at Twin Cities PBS–TPT and former communications coordinator for More Than a Single Story. She has been a Fellow with the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a Fellow with New Sector Academy, and a digital production intern with Krista Tippett’s On Being. She is passionate about the power of media, conversation, food and community. She holds a degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University.

More Than a Single Story, founded and directed by Carolyn Holbrook, began in 2015 as the community project for a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant. Its mission is to provide public conversations with and for diverse voices that have long been marginalized, focusing on public discourse, and providing a forum for cross-cultural understanding. The project hosts a series of panel discussions and public conversations where writers of color discuss issues of importance to them in their own voices and in their own words.

The series is loosely based on Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful TED talk, The Danger of a Single Story where she warns against fostering stereotypes by treating one story of a people as their only story.

Additional books in the library will come from the recommended reading list on the Read in Color website which focuses on diverse books in these categories: African American/Black, Antiracism & Inclusion, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Disability and Neurodiversity, Indigenous, Jewish, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and Muslim. St. Paul PJ Library will also donate books to the library.

The event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited. Reserve your spot by contacting JFS Community Programs Coordinator Anne Myers at (651) 359-7775 or by email at