[image-1] Libraries offer communities a place to learn and expose themselves to new ideas. Keeping with that tradition, the Charleston County Public Library is launching the Human Library Series at the Johns Island Branch. The first session will be Sat., Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. and will feature Bakemayi Mufata, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Human Library Series gives members of the community the opportunity to talk to someone of a marginalized group and ask questions. The initiative aims to fight intolerance with open, honest, and respectful dialogue.

Sessions are focused around getting to know the individual who has been exposed to prejudice or stigma.  Topics for scheduled sessions include refugees, transgender people, law enforcement officers, and Gullah Geechee residents.

The four scheduled sessions are:

Get to know a refugee, Oct. 6
Bakemayi Mufata is a pastor who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mufata was seven years old when his family fled the oncoming genocide to a refugee camp in Zambia. In the refugee camp he continued his education and became a pastor. After 22 years, he emigrated to the United States with his wife and children as refugees.

Get to know a transgender woman, Oct. 27
Lee Ann Leland is co-facilitator of the Charleston Area Transgender Support group, named 2015 volunteer of the year by We Are Family, and received the Community Leadership Award from the Alliance For Full Acceptance in 2017. She will be joined by other transgender community members and parents of trans teens for the panel discussion.

Get to know law enforcement officers, Nov. 17
Retired police officer Kay Wang patrolled the sea islands for years and is an advocate for immigrants moving to the Charleston area. He was awarded the Community Police Officer of the Year from the Charleston Police Department. He will be joined on the panel by other law enforcement officers.

Get to know Gullah Geechee cultures and traditions, Dec. 8
Rev. DeMett E. Jenkins will share her stories, experience, and perspective, including Gullah traditions, foods, and spirituals.

For more information, please visit ccpl.org