The Emperor of Ocean Park July 21-August 18.

"Any project that provokes thought and then provides an open forum for the" /> Mayors Endorse Union University's "Jackson Reads" - News Release | Union University, a Christian College in Tennessee

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Mayors Endorse Union University's "Jackson Reads"

JACKSON, Tenn.July 14, 2003 – Jackson Mayor Charles Farmer and Madison County Mayor Jerry Gist recently endorsed Union University's "Jackson Reads," a five-part discussion series on the Stephen L. Carter novel The Emperor of Ocean Park July 21-August 18.

"Any project that provokes thought and then provides an open forum for the exchange and discussion of ideas and opinions is a project worthy of endorsement," said Jackson Mayor Charles Farmer. "'Jackson Reads' not only will encourage people to rediscover the pleasure of books, but also will encourage them to reflect on the issues of family, community and racial attitudes addressed in this novel."

"Reading encourages us to open our minds to knowledge and fosters an ability to see other points of view. 'Jackson Reads' will not only direct civic discussion but will also promote literacy and reading in general," said Madison County Mayor Jerry Gist. "I encourage everyone to move from the video screen, turn off the television and read this book. Come to the lectures/discussions and join the dialog. Participants will have much in common-the love of books, the joy of reading and the opportunity to enrich and expand their knowledge and understanding of our world.

"Our lives have changed dramatically in the last two years," Gist said. "What better way could there be for us to connect with friends and neighbors and to make sense of our world as it is now? Don't miss this opportunity to not only savor a good book but also to engage in meaningful and thoughtful discussion."

Free and open to the public, each Monday evening session begins at 6 p.m. in Union's Hartley Hall. Interested individuals are encouraged to read the book prior to the first session. Each session will include presentations from area scholars and professionals followed by open dialogue among attendees.

The Jackson/Madison County Library has also endorsed the program and is making copies of the book available. Promotion sponsorship for "Jackson Reads" is provided by Davis-Kidd Booksellers, and copies of The Emperor of Ocean Park are available for purchase there.

For more information, contact Barbara McMillin, dean of Union's College of Arts and Sciences, at (731) 661-5356.

Media contact: Chris Allen,, 731-661-5215

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