Isolation Reading for the Week of June 1

Every Monday we’re bringing you some great books chosen by our staff for your work-from-home reading. This week, Jennifer DiDomenico, our Manager of Social Sciences Acquisitions, has chosen Making a Global City: How One Toronto School Embraced Diversity as her staff pick.

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I confess that I have been consuming entirely too much news over the past few months. Every day, I read endlessly about global society’s multiple divides. It is much less frequently that I come across items that reflect community building in the face of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As a concerned citizen, I crave this type of content and it is in this mood that I returned to Rob Vipond’s 2017 volume Making a Global City.

This book views the challenges – and opportunities – of creating community amidst diversity through the lens of a single school in downtown Toronto – Clinton Public School. In providing a history of how the school and surrounding community transformed and adapted as different waves of immigrants arrived and the demographics of the neighborhood shifted, Professor Vipond offers a nuanced look at multiculturalism at work. By telling the story of how this school changed from the 1920s to 1990s, he also tells a powerful story not only about how education shapes citizenship, but how the concept of citizenship itself is constructed. Making a Global City is an engaging and intensely local story with profound global implications, and I highly recommend it.

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Click here to learn more about Making a Global City: How One Toronto School Embraced Diversity.