How bibliotherapy can help us process challenging emotions and connect with others

How bibliotherapy can help us process challenging emotions and connect with others Header Image

Brought to you by Hopkins at Home, One Book Baltimore, and the International Arts and Mind Lab

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May 12, 2021 - May 26, 2021 (3 sessions)

Wednesdays, 6 - 7 PM ET


Baltimore City’s residents have long struggled with issues of inequity, poverty, and violence. In 2020, on top of a crippling pandemic, Baltimore saw 335 individuals die by homicide. In the face of a virtual school year necessitated by quarantine, opportunities for young people to connect with each other and share their feelings about their experiences became more important than ever.  In this class, you will learn about the One Book Baltimore project, which was designed to create dialogue on important community issues by having students across the city read the same book at the same time.

 A collaboration between the Enoch Pratt Free Library System, Baltimore City Public Schools, the T. Rowe Price Foundation and the International Arts + Mind Lab, One Book provides 12,000 copies of the same book to Baltimore City 7th and 8th graders to read and discuss over a semester. By reading and discussing novels and memoirs about difficult topics, combined with opportunities to share personal stories, helps young people engage with their feelings as they cope with conflict and stress.

During this Hopkins at Home course, you will learn about bibliotherapy, a practice which can provide insights into an individual’s personal challenges, allow them to explore a trauma through a safe space of literature, and encourage the practice of empathy. Readers can empathize with characters on the page while also learning factual information about their problems. Post-reading discussion or written reflections extend those benefits by offering a chance to process emotions and release trauma.

We will read and discuss essays from the 2020 One Book, We Speak for Ourselves by Baltimore author D. Watkins. You will have the opportunity to engage in your own practice of bibliotherapy and celebrate some of the student work inspired by this project. 


Individuals who register on or before May 1 may receive a copy of the One Book, We Speak for Ourselves, compliments of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Supplies are limited. First come, first served.

Session 1: Introduction to One Book and the science of bibliotherapyWednesday, May 12, 2021, 6 - 7 PM ET

  • Develop an understanding of the work of the International Arts + Mind Lab and how the arts support our health and well-being
  • Explore the practice of bibliotherapy
  • Learn about the One Book project

Homework: Read selected essays from We Speak for Ourselves

Session 2: We Speak for OurselvesWednesday, May 19, 2021, 6 - 7 PM ET

  • Discuss and reflect upon key themes from We Speak for Ourselves essays
  • Learn about options for the (optional) creative writing assignment

Homework: (Optional) creative writing assignment

Session 3: Sharing and CelebrationWednesday, May 26, 2021, 6 - 7 PM

  • Hear from students and teachers who participated in the 2020-21 One Book project
  • Experience spoken word performances by youth
  • Optional: share your own creative writing with the group

ABOUT David Olawuyi Fakunle
Associate Faculty in the Mental Health Department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

David Olawuyi Fakunle, PhD is a “mercenary for change,” employing any skill and occupying any space to help elevate everyone divested from their truest self, especially those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. David serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, and Associate Faculty in the Mental Health department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. David’s interests include stressors within the built environment, societal manifestations of racism, and the use of arts and culture to strengthen health, equity, and ultimately liberation.

ABOUT Tasha Golden
Senior Arts in Health Research Scientist at the International Arts + Mind Lab in the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Tasha Golden, PhD is Senior Arts in Health Research Scientist at the International Arts + Mind Lab in the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine. As a public health researcher and innovator, Golden studies impacts of arts, culture, environments, and discourses on well-being, health equity, research, and professional practice. Golden has served as an advisor on several national health initiatives, and is an adjunct lecturer for the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine.  Dr. Golden speaks internationally regarding health equity and intersections of health and the arts—including for POLITICO’s 2019 Annual Health Care Summit in Amsterdam. As founder of Idiom Insights, she consults with health and arts organizations to develop innovative projects and dissemination strategies that further their goals. Dr. Golden’s visionary work is bolstered by her career as an artist and entrepreneur. As singer-songwriter for the critically acclaimed band Ellery, she toured full-time in the US and abroad, and her songs have been in feature films and TV dramas. She is also the founder of Project Uncaged: an arts-based health intervention for incarcerated teen women that amplifies their voices in community and political discourses. Holding a PhD in Public Health Sciences, Dr. Golden draws on her diverse background to generate innovative partnerships, programs, and practices that advance health, inclusivity, and communications.

ABOUT Susan Magsamen
Founder and Executive Director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Susan Magsamen is the founder and Executive Director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, a pioneering neuroaesthetics initiative from the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her body of work lies at the intersection of brain sciences and the arts—and how our unique response to aesthetic experiences can amplify human potential. Magsamen is the author of the Impact Thinking model, an evidence-based research approach to accelerate how we use the arts to solve problems in health, well-being, and learning. In addition to her role at IAM Lab, she also serves as co-director of the NeuroArts Blueprint initiative in partnership with the Aspen Institute. Prior to founding IAM Lab, Magsamen worked in both the private and public sector, developing social impact programs and products addressing all stages of life—from early childhood to aging adulthood.  Magsamen created Curiosityville, an online personalized learning world, acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014 and Curiosity Kits, a hands-on multi-sensory company, acquired by Torstar in 1995. An award-winning author for children and families, Magsamen has published seven books including The Classic Treasury of Childhood WonderThe 10 Best of Everything Families, and Family Stories, a five-part interactive series that included Nighty NightTooth Fairy TimesMy Two HomesFamily Night, and Making Spirits Bright. Magsamen is a Fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts and a strategic advisor to several innovative organizations and initiatives, including the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, the American Psychological Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Brain Futures, Learning Landscapes, and Creating Healthy Communities:  Arts + Public Health in America.

ABOUT LaTrisha Milton
Young Adult Services Coordinator for the Enoch Pratt Free Library

LaTrisha Milton is the Young Adult Services Coordinator for the Enoch Pratt Free Library system. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana she began her library career with the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library system where she was employed for 15 years before moving to Baltimore, Md. in October of 2016. She began her career as a Library page (student worker) and worked her way up in the ranks. Throughout her career she has worked in many capacities including being one of the original staff members for the Community programs and Outreach services department in the East Baton Rouge Parish library system. She spend 5 years in this division. Other capacities she has served includes but are not limited to, Program coordinator for the Attic Treasures and Collectibles program (2013-2015), Senior Outreach Services Coordinator (2012-2015), Coordinator of PrattCon (2017), and Branch Manager (Walbrook Branch, 2017-2019). LaTrisha has an undergraduate degree in Marketing that she received from Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, La.) and a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Miss). She joined the Wide Angle in the fall of 2019.

ABOUT Wyatt Oroke

Wyatt Oroke is the 2020-2021 Maryland Teacher of the Year and has taught at City Springs Elementary School since 2015, and currently teaches seventh and eighth grade English, while also serving as a team leader, girls’ volleyball and boys’ basketball coach, and in a number of other roles in the school and his community. Mr. Oroke has received recognition for his teaching including awards from Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland State Senate, the Baltimore Orioles, as well as talk show host Ellen DeGeneres

ABOUT Stacey Van Horn
Executive Director of the T. Rowe Price Foundation

Stacey Van Horn is the Executive Director of the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Previously, Van Horn was manager of donor relations at T. Rowe's Program for Charitable Giving Inc., which she joined in 2001. At the Program for Charitable Giving, Van Horn oversaw grant-making, donor communications and program services. She also oversaw the implementation of a database of all program transactions. Van Horn holds a bachelor's degree in business from Michigan State University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

ABOUT D. Watkins
Editor at Large, Salon Magazine

D. Watkins is Editor at Large for Salon.  His work has been published in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications.  He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college lecturer at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project, and has also been the recipient of numerous awards including the BMe Genius Grant, and the Ford’s Men of Courage. Watkins was also a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award and Books for A Better Life.  He has lectured at countless universities, and events, around the world. Watkins has been featured as a guest and commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s The Erin Burnett Show, Democracy Now and NPR’s Monday Morning, among other shows.Watkins is from and lives in Baltimore. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Beast Side:  Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up:  A Crack Rock Memoir and We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America.

 Event Date
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
6:00pm EDT

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
7:00pm EDT


Via Zoom
Baltimore, MD 21218

Hopkins at Home

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