Zeneta and Zaire

Survivor and mom create book club to educate about racism.

Villa Maria College in Buffalo, NY, was featured in nearly 10 local news stories in July, when volunteers from the Buffalo Peacemakers helped transport nearly 10,000 books, donated from all over the country, to Zeneta and Zaire’s Book Club

Zeneta Everhart’s son, Zaire Goodman, was the first person shot in the May 14 attack at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, NY. Mr. Goodman survived, but after the shooting, Ms. Everhart felt a need to act in order to make the world a better place. She and her son created an Amazon wish list of books in hopes of educating kids on racism, diversity, and inclusion. 

Visit Zeneta and Zaire’s book wishlist on Amazon »

“Put a book in a kid’s hand and you are not only giving them a mirror into themselves, but also a window.” she said. She feels that Villa is the right place for this initiative, explaining, “We learned a lot about our history growing up, but there were a lot of things we didn’t learn, that I learned at Villa Maria College.” 

Ms. Everhart and Mr. Goodman are both valued members of the Villa community. Mr. Goodman studied there, and his mother is a 2008 graduate and member of the college’s Board of Trustees. 

Villa Maria College President Matthew Giordarno is thrilled to support Zeneta and Zaire’s Book Club. “We are proud to support this initiative because of what it stands for — informing and enlightening our youth about racism and Black history,” he said. “We want to be at the forefront of dialogue that counters disinformation with real education.” 

Many of Villa Maria College’s faculty and staff have contributed to Zeneta and Zaire’s book wish list. The books will be stored and sorted in a classroom — then distributed to schools, libraries, and community centers across Western New York. 

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