OPIRG Social Justice Book Clubs

The OPIRG Book Club fund supports book clubs at McMaster that discuss themes of social justice and environmentalism. While learning alone is not enough to fully engage in advocacy and activism, it is always an important first step.

Eligibility: The funding is open to all book clubs led by members of OPIRG McMaster (i.e., McMaster undergraduate students who did not opt-out of paying the OPIRG membership fee or individuals who have purchased a community membership). 

The book clubs themselves can: 

  • Be new or existing book clubs; 
  • Be started as an individual initiative, as part of an existing club or course;
  • Have membership that is not restricted to OPIRG McMaster memberships (e.g., can include undergraduate students, graduate students, McMaster staff, and community members). 

Funding: Funding for book clubs will be available up to $1000. OPIRG will provide funding for:

  • The purchase of books (either non-fiction or fiction);
  • Any costs associated with mailing the books to book club participants;
  • Any costs associated with hosting book club meetings (e.g., booking meeting space or providing refreshments). 

Funds will be reimbursed after you provide receipts or proof of purchase. Whenever possible, we will try to source books from independent bookstores to support local businesses.

Application Dates: Applications for the Fall Semester are due by Sunday, November 27, 2022 by 11:59 pm!

Application dates for the 2023 Winter and Summer semesters will be announced soon. 

Please email board@opirgmcmaster.org if you have any questions.

OPIRG McMaster Book Clubs: 2022-2023

BIPOC Health and Wellness

A book club exploring healthcare advocacy for the wellness of BIPOC bodies in a white-focused medical system, and multicultural systems of healing that differ from allopathy and are underrepresented in western medicine.

Reading List

  • Harriet A. Washington- Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
  • Anne Fadiman- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
  • Dr. Vasant Lad- Ayurveda: the Science of Self Healing
  • Malidoma Patrice Some-The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community
  • David Young, Robert Rogers, Russell Wellier- A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle: Revelations of Indigenous Wisdom–Healing Plants, Practices, and Stories
Books stacked so the spines are arranged according to colour to make a rainbow effect

QTCC Book Club

The QTCC (Queer and Trans Colour Club) book club’s main themes focus on the intersectionality between queerness and being racialized, for queer and BIPOC authors, readers, and characters.

Reading List

  • Aiden Thomas – Cemetery Boys
  • Madeline Miller – Song of Achilles
  • Jaye Simpson – it was never going to be okay
  • Casey McQuiston – One last stop

OPIRG McMaster Book Clubs: 2021-2022

EFRT Book Club

THEME - BIPOC authors and literature

Reading List: 

  • Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye
  • Trevor Noah – Born a Crime
  • Amy Tan – The Joy Luck Club

Indigenous Education Book Club

THEME: Impacts of the residential school system.

Reading List

  • Five Little Indians – Michelle Good

Asian Authors Book Club

THEMES: Asian authors and stories with themes of environmentalism, highlighting refugee voices, immigrant voices, 2SLGBTQIA+ voices, and Asian-Canadian voices.

Reading List: 

  • Jessica J. Lee – Two Trees Make a Forest
  • David Chariandy – Brother
  • Ocean Vuong – Night Sky with Exit Wounds
  • Arthur Sze – The Ginkgo Light
  • Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things
  • Trung Le Nguyen – The Magic Fish
  • Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki – Skim 
  • Grace Lin – The Year of the Dog
  • Bao Phi – Different Pond
  • Various Authors – The Bare Life Review Vol. 4
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen – The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives

OPIRG McMaster Book Clubs: 2020-2021

BIWOC Authors

Theme: BIWOC Authors, Anti-Racism

Reading List: 

  • Brit Bennett – The Vanishing Half 
  • Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age
  • Zadie Smith – White Teeth
  • Bernardine Evaristo – Girl, Woman, Other
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite – My Sister, the Serial Killer
  • Jhumpa Lahiri – Interpreter of Maladies

STEM and Racial Bias

Awareness of the impact of STEM in racial biases and general awareness of the environment

Reading List: 

      • Dorothy Roberts – Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
      • Nathaniel Rich – Losing Earth