By Susan Johnson
Local author and business entrepreneur John Gile has introduced a new project to combat racism in Rockford with the launch of a new book from JGC/United Publishing Corps.
Monday, Jan. 4, Gile spoke to the Rockford City Council asking them to address the need to
begin in childhood the process of opening minds and hearts to understanding, acceptance and harmony among men, women and children of diverse ethnic and racial origins.
(Read Gile’s comments to the City Council on page A1.)
The book, Just Shades of Brown, by Lana Duncan-Hartgraves, intended for teachers and parents to use, is being released in national and international distribution channels. Gile is particularly pleased that it is an all-Rockford project, produced by a Rockford-based publishing company, written and illustrated by a Rockford School District 205 teacher, and printed on Rockford presses. It is edited by John Gile with book cover design by Renie Gile.
In a letter to Rockford School Board President David Kelley, Gile stated,
It is my hope and intention that Just Shades of Brown can help redeem Rockford, long stigmatized as a part of our nation’s discrimination problem, and that Rockford can now become known as the source of a solution instead.
The softcover book, beautifully illustrated, tells the story of how two girls from different racial backgrounds end up as classmates when a factory closing forces one family to move. It touches on the problems of being a new kid in school and explains how the two girls became friends while working on a school project. It is based on the author’s real-life experience.
This book is the latest production of JGC/United Publishing Corps, which has 30 years of experience in publishing. The company was the subject of a stand-alone, color-photo feature story by Publishers Weekly, the prestigious journal of the publishing industry.
Just Shades of Brown is sure to be a valuable tool in teaching appreciation for the unique qualities of individuals of various ethnic backgrounds by answering children’s questions and nipping discrimination at its source. Priced at $12.95 retail, the book is available from JGC/United Publishing Corps, 1710 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103, or call (815) 968-6601, or see the Web site at www.jgcunited.com.
From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.