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Chat and Chew Virtual Book Club

Friday, September 29, 2023

Join the UA - Pulaski Tech community for a virtual book club to connect with students, faculty, staff and alumni as we engage with texts that elevate voices, share experiences, and indulge together in lifelong learning. Participation is free!


Poverty, by America - Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages?

In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.


1. How often will books be read, what is the time commitment and what are the expectations?

A new book will be chosen each month with a virtual discussion taking place at the beginning on the following month. The virtual discussion topics will be derived from the texts and will cover lifelong learning, personal growth, and other topics. Each book should take an average of nine hours to read from cover to cover. If you have between 1-2 hours a week to read, you should be fine.

2. Will there be any in-person meetings of the book club?

No, the book club will be entirely online. You can participate anywhere you have Internet access and on days and times that are convenient to you.

3. Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free for all students, faculty, staff and alumni.

4. How do I get the books?

A limited amount of books are available for loan at the Main Campus and Little Rock-South libraries. Additionally, books are available for purchase with a 15% UA-PTC discount at Pyramid Books in Little Rock. Participants can also check out books for free at their local library or purchase digital or audio versions online.

5. How do book club discussions work?

The book club will meet at the beginning of each month at noon through Microsoft Teams. A moderator will pose questions and facilitate the conversation. Additionally, a forum in Microsoft Teams will be provided to allow book club members to post and share relevant articles and discussion topics from the book. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for readers to connect with each other through the forum.

6. What if my question isn't answered?

Feel free to contact Carita Alexander at (501) 812-2811 or e-mail [email protected].

The Chat & Chew Virtual Book Club Series was planned and initiated by the Chancellor’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. For more information, contact Carita Alexander at (501) 812-2811 or e-mail [email protected].