Book Circle: Medical Apartheid, by Harriet A. Washington–For All Races

Date(s) - Oct 10, 2021 - Oct 12, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Virtual Event Link
Register for the Book Circle Here!


The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) presents this series of antiracism book circles as an act of radical education and collaboration. Our hope is to provide a unique opportunity to process the impact of the pandemic and respond to the renewed call for racial equity in our society. Our goal is to create a space in which participants may collectively and individually gain understanding that will result in healing, understanding, inclusion and empowerment. More importantly, they provide a way to maintain energetic human connections through virtual meeting spaces. Past circles have included participants from around the world to create transformative and educational learning spaces.

About this book

From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, Medical Apartheid details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations.

It reveals how Blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of Blacks. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

Who should join?

This book circle is open to people of any race, culture, or religion.

RCNV Note on Affinity & Mixed Race Groups

Due to the sensitive racial nature of the books offered, the RCNV’s racial equity policy offers separate affinity groups to respect the process of participants and to provide more safety and depth in the circle. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), especially, may benefit from a unified healing experience within a safe container to grieve and process. Thus, book circles offered for mixed races and for affinity groups are determined depending on the nature of the chosen book and the skills of co-facilitators. Book circles are co-facilitated by facilitators of all races; and affinity groups are facilitated by facilitators who identify within that affinity group. Mixed race individuals are welcome to join affinity groups matching their self-identification. Our co-facilitators will do their best to support every participant in their process. Our book circles provide spaces to practice mutual respect, collaboration, and the creation of an inclusive community. This book circle is offered to all racial identities.

Your Circle Facilitators

Jasmine (she/her) is African-American. She is a Special Education teacher based in New York City. She works with kids from ages birth to age eight and volunteers her time to bring equity to the education system in New York. She lives in the borough of Staten Island in New York City.

Derek is a trained facilitator. He focuses on, and prioritizes, relationships and is deeply curious to understand different experiences and ways of being in community. He is especially keen to feel gratitude in the presence of grace and miracles. His work seeks to heal grief of all depths and types.

Derek, and Jasmine’s styles will vary between covering the book’s material, with mindful/ heart-centered introspective exercises, group process, and spontaneous artistic sharing. They include eclectic techniques in the learning, from intellectual to somatic/embodiment. Everyone who feels called to do this work is welcome.

Schedule and Logistics

RCNV circles meet weekly on Zoom over the course of 8-10 weeks. This book circle will meet on Sundays from 1-3pm PT; it begins on October 10th and will run for 12 weeks.

This program is offered to our community on donation basis, funds go to support the work of RCNV and to cover the costs of administration and co-facilitators training. Any amount is highly appreciated, traditionally we suggest $25 per person, or more for those wishing to grant space to others, but any donation amount is accepted and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Welcome! We trust that you will benefit from our community’s work. After you register and as our circle start date nears, your co-facilitators will reach out with more details.

Scroll to Top


Receive our updates, events, and action alerts in your inbox