Leverett reading group pays tribute to Paula Green

  • —Submitted Photo

  • This plaque outside the Leverett library was installed by the Leverett Alliance Reading Group, which Paula Green helped to form. CONTRIBUTED

Staff Writer
Friday, November 25, 2022

LEVERETT — A crimson queen weeping Japanese maple tree and a bronze plaque were recently installed outside the Leverett Library to honor late peace activist Paula Green.

A longtime resident who traveled the world to bridge sides in conflict and the founder of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding in Amherst, Green, who died in February, was recognized by the Leverett Alliance Reading Group on Thursday.

The tree and plaque honor Green’s memory in activism and her role as a reader interested in learning more about vulnerable American communities. Green was also a leader of Hands Across the Hills, a dialogue and cultural exchange effort initiated in the wake of the 2016 presidential election with a conservative eastern Kentucky county.

The Leverett Alliance Reading Group grew out of a December 2016 meeting at the library organized by Green and other members of the Leverett Peace Commission.

“Paula was a prodigious reader and a vital contributor to our book group,” member Sharon Dunn said in a statement. “She often suggested new books for us, and her incisive and often passionate comments deepened our discussions.”

The group meets monthly, except over the summer, when a large book such as Jill Lepore’s history “These Truths” was read for September.

Current members are Carolyn Anderson, John Clayton, Sharon Dunn, Pat Fiero, Susan Lynton, Jim Perkins, Mary Russo, Lisa Vittori and Judith Davidov, who founded the group. Former members Dale Schwartz and Dona Wheeler contributed to the commemoration.

Among books read by the group over the past five years are Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste,” Nancy McLean’s “Democracy in Chains,” Walter Isaacson’s “Code Breaker,” Kathleen Belew’s “Bring the War Home,” Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” and Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Ministry for the Future.”

The group mainly reads nonfiction, with an occasional novel, such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and “Overstory” by Richard Powers.