178: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover — Ronni Abergel with The Human Library

Get ready to bust your pre-conceived notions wide open when you learn about the unconventional and stigmatized people at The Human Library.

Ronni Abergel and three friends founded The Human Library, which originally appeared in Copenhagen, Denmark before going on tour.  The Human Library has been presented in 70 countries around the world, and it first came to the United States in 2008. This library is to stimulate positive conversations that challenge prejudices and stereotypes through the sharing of other people’s stories. We all have label makers in our heads, but it’s time we break that once and for all by putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Key Takeaways:

[4:15] Humans are books. Each one of us has our covers, and inside those covers, we have our stories.

[6:00] Ronni is interested in publishing books from people who have been unjustly stigmatized.

[6:55] By calling someone ‘obese’ in your stories, aren’t you further adding to the stigma?

[11:35] When Rob goes on to the website and see these labels, he has some pre-conceived notions about what he thinks they are. However, when he reads further into their individual stories, he learns so much more.

[12:35] No matter how open-minded you might be, we all have label makers in our heads.

[17:15] When a reader came into The Human Library, he said that he’s never met a Muslim person before. After reading a human book written by a Muslim, this reader ended up walking away with a deeper understanding about their culture.

[19:25] Increasing military spending won’t solve the world’s problems. Sitting down and talking to other people who are different from you, and respecting them, will lead to better conflict resolution.

[25:40] Do you have a question about a culture, a belief, or an orientation? The Human Library has the answers!

[33:45] You might not always change a person or their prejudices, but by providing a bit of insight into someone else’s life, you can allow for a connection to happen.

[37:35] After reading a story about a young girl being molested by her father, the man reading the book admitted he was a pedophile and had been to jail.

[43:15] Changing the topic a bit, Ronnie shares a funny story about San Francisco.

[48:35] You can host your own Human Library party.  Ronnie explains how.

[51:15] Interested in finding out more? Feel free to reach out to Ronnie!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Giving Back Podcast

The Human Library

Ronni Abergel on Twitter



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