The Human Library is an educational nonprofit that organizes temporary "libraries" around the world where you can borrow a person instead of a book. Founded in Copenhagen in 2000 by Ronni Abergel, the idea is to encourage people with very different perspectives, backgrounds, beliefs, or experiences to have a safe place to talk openly and honestly so that others may better understand them. Loan periods are a maximum of thirty minutes. From CNN:
A feminist meets with a Muslim woman in a hijab and asks if she wears it by choice or compulsion.
A climate change activist meets with someone who thinks global warming is a hoax.
A Black antiracist activist meets with a supporter of former President Trump.
Or, in the case of Charlize Jamieson, a transgender woman meets a conservative Christian woman who thinks she is living in sin.
Jamieson says she agreed to be a "book" in the Human Library because she wants to encourage empathy. An animated and jovial conversationalist, she says she spent years denying who she was while working in corporate America.
"There's rough edges around people, and people form opinions based on what other people say or what the TV news says," she says. "And then you get in front of them, and you're sometimes like a nail file, filing off those rough edges."