The City of Grand Junction is hosting the third book club meetings beginning this fall on September 6, 2023, with a focus on housing and homelessness issues. The third book in this popular series is the Pulitzer Prize winning book titled Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. Each session will include a guided discussion and when relevant, a guest attendee will be invited to offer context on that session’s material.
Book club meetings will be offered in two five-week sessions: Wednesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. beginning on Sept. 6, 2023, and Tuesday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 12, 2023. All sessions will be led by city staff and take place at the Mesa County Libraries Central Branch at 443 N. 6th Ave. Space is limited. Registration is free; however space is limited. For community members who wish to follow along and participate in online discussion, weekly discussion questions, polls, and opportunities for feedback will be available online next week at EngageGJ.org.
In the book, Evicted, author Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. The book assesses how communities can understand poverty and economic exploitation while providing new ideas for working towards solving housing and houselessness issues.
This book explores how even the smallest event can rip through the lives of families and individuals trying to make ends meet sending them out of control. Desmond’s research method on which the book was constructed was to move into the inner city to live amongst some of the poorest people and through the process he interviewed tenants, landlords, officials, and eviction crews. He wanted to be a part of their everyday lives to, “move like they move, talk like they talk, and think like they think.” Then he embedded this ethnographic evidence in numbers and data. The result is a scholarly book focused on the stories.
Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and is a Harvard Society of Fellows Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted (2016), which won the Pulitzer Price, National Book Critics Circle Award, Carnegie Medal, and PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Non-fiction. He is the principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, which is focused on research related to poverty, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography, and was listed as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”
More information about the city’s book club and to register for either five-week series.