From RISE: Our Virtual Book Club

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 On Friday, March 26, the Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (RISE) hosted its Virtual Book Club from 2 to 4 p.m. The book theme for this month was Rockaway Culture and our group voted on reading Rockaway: Surfing Headlong into a New Life by Diane Cardwell. It is an inspiring true story about a woman who was looking for a fresh start after going through a very difficult time in her life, and how surfing in the Rockaways helped her find happiness once again. This month's meeting was special because our group was fortunate enough to have the author, Diane Cardwell herself, join us in our discussion. It was one of our best turnouts yet, everyone came to the meeting with questions about her incredible journey and together we had a great conversation about life in the Rockaways. Our group was able to take a deeper look into her life at the time when she was first starting to write her story and how she is doing now after having it published.

With this month's theme of Rockaway Culture, our group was looking for a more uplifting and lighter story after our last few selections. Although there are many heavy elements in this story, it shines a light on the pursuit of happiness and the importance of following your passions. I want to send an extra thank you to Diane Cardwell for taking the time out of her day to join our meeting, and for providing our group with another amazing story to discuss.

Towards the end of the meeting, our group took a vote for our next book and we decided on, The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming, by Eric Holthaus. To follow along with April’s theme of Sustainability, this story is one of the first hopeful books covering climate change, and shows the reader how to reverse the negative effects of climate change. Our group's next meeting will be taking place on Friday, April 30 from 2-4pm. Until the next installment of RISE’s Virtual Book Club, have a nice day and happy reading. For more information on our Virtual Book Club please visit our website riserockaway.org and contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions and to receive the Zoom link.

 By Liam Lachner, 

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