Ex Fabula Fellow Chelsea Tokuno originally shared this story about her experience as the only person of color in a women’s book club on March 8 at the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, as part of a series on Interrupting Racism.

Made possible with support from the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Wisconsin Arts Board, Ex Fabula Fellows have been prominent storytellers throughout Season Seven. Chelsea Tokuno is one of those Fellows. Growing up as a child in Oahu, Hawaii, Chelsea was an avid reader and began writing stories at a young age. Though she is of Pacific Islander decent and was surrounded by a predominantly “brown, Pacific Islander community,” Chelsea’s characters usually had pale skin and blue or green eyes. As an adult student living in a Milwaukee suburb, Chelsea decided to join a book club, where she found herself the only person of color. When she began adding authors of color to the reading materials something interesting happened to Chelsea’s book club.