The Oklahoma Humanities Council is excited to support a reading and discussion program for children that looks at diversity from a unique perspective. “Muslim Voices” highlights the wide variety of Muslim experiences and invites both Muslims and non-Muslims to read and discuss together.

The goals of the program are to start meaningful conversations about the shared humanity of non-Muslim and Muslim peoples and to explore these commonalities through universal themes that cross cultural, religious, and ethnic divides. The program is not designed to teach Islam but rather to discuss all-inclusive subjects such as courage, community, faith, and freedom.

Two programs will be held in Oklahoma in the coming weeks. A program for children ages 8-12 will be held at Stillwater Public Library, 1107 S. Duck on Tuesday afternoons. Each of the following sessions will begin at 4:30 pm and last for about an hour: Mirror by Jeannie Baker, April 8; The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, April 15; The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter, April 29; The Champ by Tonya Bolden, May 6. For more information about this program, contact Elizabeth Murray at (405) 372-3633.

Casady Service Learning Program will sponsor a program for teens that will be held at The Village Library, 10307 N. Pennsylvania. Each session will begin at 12:30 pm on the following Saturdays: Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah, March 29; Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos, April 12; How Does It Feel to be a Problem by Moustafa Bayoumi, May 3; Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, May 10. For more information about these sessions, contact Elisabeth Wright at (405) 755-0710.

Each of the programs will be led by a two-person team consisting of a humanities scholar and an educator or librarian, all of whom are experienced discussion facilitators. Humanities scholars bring a rich knowledge of history, literature, and the arts to their own reading and reflection and know how to guide others in examining these topics in the context of their own experiences. Educators and librarians are skilled in working with youth and are adept at discussing age-appropriate literature and themes.

Refreshments and books will be provided at every session, and participants will be able to keep their books when the program is over. Pick up your “Muslim Voices” books at Stillwater Public Library or The Village Library during regular library hours.

“Muslim Voices” is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities and underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local support is provided by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Casady Service Learning Program, Stillwater Public Library, and the Metropolitan Library System.