LI Book Club: Special Edition in partnership with Indiana Repertory Theatre – The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin

Original artwork by Kyle Ragsdale

We are teaming up with Indiana Repertory Theatre to do a special edition of our book club where we’ll read and discuss the play The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin.

In response to COVID-19, Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the remainder of its 2019-2020 season. One of the plays that was cancelled in the last stages of rehearsal was The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, which was part of IRT’s Inclusion Series that celebrates diverse storytelling.

We are partnering with our friends at IRT to find a new way to share this story with you. Playwright Jessica Huang has given us special permission to share the script with a small group of participants.


  • After registering to participate, you will be sent a digital version of the script.
  • Read the script and then join us for a virtual event on May 18, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with Janet Allen, Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director of Indiana Repertory Theatre, to discuss the play and its inclusion in IRT’s season.
  • We’ll ask you not to further share the script, as it is yet to be published, and the playwright has kindly given us permission to circulate in a limited fashion


Despite the US ban against Chinese immigrants, Harry Chin forged a new identity to earn precious American dollars to send home to his starving village. Now he is trapped between two families and two worlds. Seasoned with magic and mystery, this hauntingly theatrical tale from our overlooked history considers the personal and political repercussions of making a group of people illegal.


Dates: May 18, 2020

Time: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual – After signing up for the book club through Eventbrite, you will receive a Zoom link and other details for joining the conversation.

Cost: Free, but we would appreciate any gift you can make to Leadership Indianapolis so we can continue to provide this kind of programming.

*Even though this event is free, advance registration is required.


Why is LI hosting a book club?

Leadership Indianapolis has a long history of bringing together people from different professions, lived experiences, and perspectives to learn about community issues and leadership. The book club is another way for us to do that. We believe our city and its future is strengthened when people are able to come together for meaningful civil conversations about important issues.

Who do I contact if I have questions about LI Book Club?   

If you have questions about LI Book Club, please contact Kelly Doucet at

We partnered with our friends at CICF to host 2 Book Clubs in 2019.

During our first LI Book Club we read Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald. Why did we choose this book? As leaders, we are often in the position of providing opportunities to others whether that be through a hiring process, a mentoring relationship, or inviting people to serve on boards and committee. This is a significant responsibility. It is important for us to reflect on our own decision-making processes and understand the biases that impact the decisions we make. More important than the content of the book itself, Blindspot provided an opportunity for the diverse participants to engage in honest, real conversation about the differences in their experiences due to biases in our larger culture. The discussions were facilitated by Tamara Winfrey Harris of CICF and Rebecca Hutton of Leadership Indianapolis.

For our second LI Book Club we chose the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This is the story of Stevenson’s experience as a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. The discussions around this book, facilitated by Pamela Ross of CICF and Rebecca Hutton of Leadership Indianapolis, centered on the inequities in criminal justice system and the role systemic racism plays.