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Clark State and Harper Mack Group to Host Community Book Study

Clark State and Harper Mack Group to Host Community Book Study

March 23, 2016

Clark State Community College and the Harper Mack Group, LLC, will host The Greater Springfield Community Book Study beginning in April. Small groups will meet to read, study and discuss The New York Times Best Seller The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

Corey Holliday, director of community outreach for Clark State, said The New Jim Crow is a must read. “When we were approached by Dr. Harper, we were all-in because of the impact we thought the book could make on the community,” he said. “This project is a lot of work, but it is much needed.”

Dr. E. Jean Harper, owner of the Harper Mack Group in Springfield, read and recommended the book for study. “The content of the book resonated with me like few things have,” said Harper. “I was amazed to find out in the United States that we incarcerate more people than anybody else in the entire world.”

The study is open to the public with the intent of increasing the public awareness of laws and their long term effects on families and communities. “I thought it would be so valuable to our community to be able to learn about things that effect everybody, because it can happen to anybody,” said Harper.

Participants are able to establish their own groups or join a group established by the coordinators. Each group will have a host. Host training is available to help provide guidance to the group. Host training will be held prior to the start of the book study on March 24 and 31 at 5:30 p.m. in Brinkman Educational Center, Room 408 on Clark State’s downtown campus.

Small groups will meet April 3 – May 15, and studies may be held in the place, day of the week and hours of choice. A two-hour block is recommended for each study.

Harper said she hopes people will be moved to take action. “People need to be aware of what is happening to other people,” she said. “There have been some injustices. It goes beyond anything I ever expected.”

The study will conclude in May with a special event at Clark State. The New Jim Crow is available at the Clark State Bookstore, 570 East Leffel Lane, for $15.95. A free Discussion Guide is included. Participants may sign up online at: or in person at any Clark County Public Library.

“I am an educator,” said Harper. “I think we never stop learning, and it’s so much more powerful when we learn with others.”

For more information, contact: Corey Holliday at or Dr. Jean Harper at

Media Contact

Crystal Jones Vice President of Marketing, Diversity and Community Impact