YWomen Read Book Club

Join the club!

Join us as we read and grow together to help educate ourselves and our community. The quarterly book selections will discuss social justice topics in line with the YWCA’s mission to “eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all!”


How it works:

Each quarter we’ll choose a new book.
Each month we’ll focus on a section of the book to discuss and dissect.
We’ll meet virtually via Zoom to maintain social distancing.

Currently We Are Reading:

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America” by Maria Hinojosa

In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. She offers a personal and illuminating account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also sanctioned willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today.


  • Introduction – Chapter 9
    October 21, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Chapters 10 – 18
    November 18, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Discussion Questions

Content warning

Please note, the following pages include mention of sexual violence/assault: 63-67, 256, 259, 270-272, 276-280 

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Family Services Sexual Assault Center’s 24-hour, Brown County crisis line at 920-436-8899 or visit their website for additional support. 

Need a Copy?

Check out Lion’s Mouth Bookstore and mention that you are a member of our book club for 15% off!


Where to get your books:

  • Lion’s Mouth Bookstore – Shop local in-person or online. Mention YWCA to get 15% off your purchase. (Put YWCA in the PO line if ordering online.)
  • Brown County Public Library – if you’d rather borrow than buy, the library will have limited copies of each selection available.
  • Two Shrews Press – generously supports this program.

In partnership with :




YWomen Read Library

Wondering what books we’ve already tackled? Here they are!

The First Winter: Stories of Survival by Experienced Hearts
by Bisharo Abdullahi (Author), Nimco Sh. Abdullahi Hassan (Author), Najma Hussein (Author), Ifrah Mansour (Foreword)

America the Annoying, Painful, and Amazing… The Somali community in Green Bay, Wisconsin is a quiet, hidden, and often misunderstood part of a predominantly white population. But a small group of Somali teenage girls is trying to change that. They call themselves the United ReSisters. Attached are their stories. The First Winter is a trailblazing collection of reflections, conversations, letters, lists, and poems about their experiences as refugees and journeys to the United States. Exploring ambition, loss, their Muslim faith, a mother’s devotion, the power of sisterhood, the awkwardness of being a teenager, and other “annoying, painful, and amazing” experiences, these pieces shed new light on topics both veiled and universal. The First Winter is a celebration of homelands old and new: where these girls come from, where they are, where they’re going, and everywhere the power of family and friendship to make the unbearable bearable, meaningful, and even joyful.

Modern Jungles: A Hmong Refugee’s Childhood Story of Survival
by Pao Lor

After a difficult and perilous journey that neither of his parents survived, he reached the safety of Thailand, but the young refugee boy’s challenges were only just beginning… After more than two years in Thai refugee camps, Pao and his surviving family members boarded the belly of an “iron eagle” bound for the United States, where he pictured a new life of comfort and happiness. Instead, Pao found himself navigating a frightening and unfamiliar world, adjusting to a string of new schools and living situations while struggling to fulfill the hopes his parents had once held for his future. (From the publisher)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.