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Community Reads

October 6, 2017 | By: Communications Staff

We asked leaders who are building a better community to share their recommendations for life-changing reads.


Sam Centellas, La Casa de Amistad

Sam Centellas is the Executive Director of La Casa de Amistad. The organization seeks to “empower the Latino/Hispanic community within Michiana by providing educational, cultural and advocacy services in a welcoming bilingual environment.” Thank you to Sam and his staff for helping build a better community.


Linda Baechle, YWCA – North Central Indiana

Linda Baechle is the Executive Director of the YWCA. The organization is “dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Thank you to Linda and her staff for helping build a better community.


Mark Torma, Volunteer Lawyer Network

Mark Torma is the Executive Director of The Volunteer Lawyer Network. The organization “uses the law to fight poverty, empower clients, and improve access to justice.” Thank you to Mark and his staff for helping build a better community.


Darryl Heller, Civil Rights Heritage Center

Darryl Heller is the Executive Director of The Civil Rights Heritage Center. The organization “is dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the history of race and ethnic relations in the Michiana area, and seeks to provide education, research, and forums, while examining human rights principals and challenges for future generations.” Thank you to Darryl and his staff for helping build a better community.


Amy Cooper Collier, Girls on the Run Michiana

Amy Cooper Collier is the Executive Director of Girls on the Run Michiana. Girls on the Run Michiana inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running and culminates in a non-competitive untimed 5k each spring. Thank you to Amy and her staff for helping build a better community.


Josh Aerie, The Music Village

Josh Aerie is the Executive Director of The Music Village. The organization “is a place where residents and visitors can discover their own creativity and unite to share the diverse cultural heritage of the greater South Bend area via the musical arts.” Thank you to Josh and his staff for helping build a better community.


Aaron Perri, South Bend Venues Parks & Arts

Aaron Perri is the Executive Director of South Bend Venues Parks & Arts. The organization seeks to “build community through people, parks and programs.” Thank you to Aaron and his staff for helping build a better community.


Alan Larkin, Fine Artist

“One of my great pleasures in visiting museums is to find and share unacknowledged masterpieces, not just to visit the great pictures that everyone already knows. It’s not much of a recommendation to tell someone to visit the Mona Lisa when going to the Louvre. It’s the same with books. I love to find an author who gives us a fresh and unexpected way of viewing the world. One should be bold in selecting new and untried authors. They have greater value because you discovered them on your own.”  -Alan Larkin

Fine artist Alan Larkin is the recipient of the 2017 Carlotta Banta Artistic Achievement Award, to be presented by the South Bend Museum of Art at the Artlights Gala on October 26.  A retired IUSB art professor and long-time owner of historic properties in the West Washington Historic District, Alan shares some of his favorite books with us:

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