Please note our limted hours. We are currently open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Plan your visit to the Museum or check out our Planetarium Show Schedule. Cumming Nature Center is open normal hours.

The Changemakers Book Club

The Changemakers Book Club

Once per month through April 2021

To help celebrate our newest exhibit, The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World, we'll be reading a new book every month written by one of our featured Changemakers! We'll hold a monthly virtual discussion where you'll have a chance to chat with the authors, discuss what you read, and ask the author any burning questions you have about the book. Check out our line-up of books and authors below! All book club sessions are held virtually via Zoom. 

Cost: $15 per session*

Copies of your book are included in the cost of registration. Books can be picked up at the front desk of the RMSC Museum after you complete your registration.

If you already have the book or need to have the book shipped to you, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 585.697.1942 to complete your registration.

Session One: Thursday, March 4 | 7pm

Collard Green Curves: A Fat Girl’s Journey from Childhood Obesity to Healthy Living

Author: Theresa Lou Bowick

About the Book:
The author takes the reader on an incredible, tear-jerking, journey of a misguided little girl so consumed with self-hate, misinformation, and distrust that it catapulted her into a life filled with unbelievable challenges. Repeated rejections, major disappointments, and misunderstandings contributed to distrust of everyone she would encounter throughout her life, including her family. In her search for love, fulfillment, and acceptance, the author depicts a life turned upside down through a confusing series of curves and detours destined to destroy her and anyone in her path until she found the right recipe for healing which comes with “forgiveness of self and others.” Forgiveness is presented as the key to putting the past in perspective, finding a way to emerge from the depths of despair, then, shifting the focus to overcoming addictions, moving forward, and living a healthy, God directed, victorious life.

This book, an inspirational lifeline for anyone trying to find themselves, quickly captures and holds the reader’s attention. The author demonstrates ways for individuals to conquer their fears and fight, perhaps for the first time in their lives for well-deserved, overdue new beginnings. The book reminds us to let, no man or woman hinder us from achieving our ultimate goal(s).

About the Author

Tbowick Headshot 2021 2

Also known as “Nurse Bowick”, in Rochester New York, where she hosts the popular radio show, “Health Beats” on WDKX 103.9 FM. There she uses the airwaves as a forum for community health. Using the tag line, “we’re gonna talk about it”, every Tuesday morning she engages the community in the most non traditional and previously forbidden topics. Her approach to health education is quite unconventional. Her mammogram was videotaped and posted online to encourage women in her community to have the screening. Bowick’s courageousness inspired over 150 uninsured women to receive mammograms. She wears a dress made of real collard greens to promote her first book, Collard Green Curves-a fat girl’s journey from childhood obesity to healthy living. The self-published memoir provides insight on the many factors beyond poor food choices and lack of exercise that contribute to childhood obesity, such as poverty, blended families, domestic violence, educational and religious institutions. In 2017, Collard Green Curves debuted as a stage play to a sold out crowd at Geva Theatre. Bowick’s other publications include; Sisters We Must Fight This, a rally cry for women and girls living with HIV/AIDS, and My Brothers are Dying-a Nurse’s Plea for Black Men.

In concert with her commitment to the betterment of her community, in 2012 she founded Conkey Cruisers, a free neighborhood Bicycling-to-Better-Health Club. “Nobody exercises in this neighborhood” are the words that propelled Bowick to create an opportunity for neighbors to embrace physical fitness. The Conkey Cruisers have collectively cycled over one million miles. In 2018, Conkey Cruisers collaborated with the United States Tennis Association (USTA)to incorporate tennis initiatives into their active lifestyle curriculum. Tennis became a game changer for Conkey Cruisers. Under Bowick’s leadership the USTA Eastern Region collaborated with Conkey Cruisers, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) and local tennis professionals to provide tennis equipment, tennis in schools curriculum and professional development for physical education teachers for every school in the district. On February 6th, 2020, two thousand RCSD students was introduced to tennis and the life and legacy of tennis great Arthur Ashe. Since its inaugural year, Conkey Cruisers has received numerous honors; including a letter of congratulations from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

In 2009, Bowick was one of six grand prize winners of the Weight Watchers Inspiring Stories of Change Contest, having lost 75 pounds. She is one of few African American women to be featured on the cover of Weight Watchers Magazine (Jan/Feb 2010). Her weight loss journey was also featured on the Steve Harvey TV show, Tom Joyner morning show, Dr. Oz Show, YMCA Commercials, front page of the Democrat & Chronicle, Scrubs Magazine for Nurses, Family Circle Magazine, Our Voice Magazine and the Minority Reporter.

Bowick was born and raised in Rochester, New York, where she attended public schools. She acquired her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. There she was a proud C-Step Student & the first African American female to earn the President’s Citation Award, the highest honor for a graduating senior. She has one daughter, Jacynta. Jacynta graduated from Fisk University, teaches elementary school in Chicago and moonlights as a freelance filmmaker. Bowick is delighted to wear the letters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Which signifies her commitment to sisterhood and community service.

All book club sessions are held virtually via Zoom

Register Today!


Session Two: Friday, March 26 | 6pm

Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One woman Changed the Face Of Modern Business

Author: Jane Plitt

About the Book:

Join Harper biographer Jane Plitt as she reveals how she was able to piece together the long-forgotten story of Martha Matilda Harper by crisscrossing the United States and Canada and knocking on relatives and Harper workers’ doors, as well as visiting cemeteries!

Harper was a poor Canadian immigrant who was embraced by key Rochester influencers including Susan B. Anthony, John Van Voorhis, and the suffrage movement. Harper went on to create the world’s first modern retail franchise model with over 500 shops worldwide, which enabled poor women to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs. Yet, Harper had been ignored by history books until Plitt’s determined effort put her back into history.

All book club sessions are held virtually via Zoom

About the Author

Jane Plitt 1Jane Plitt ran a thriving business consulting practice until she became enthralled with the story of Martha Matilda Harper. Plitt became a Visiting Scholar at the University of Rochester. Plitt spent six years crisscrossing the United States and Canada, knocking on doors of former Harperites and relatives to piece the story together. Without their warm welcome and storage of Harper records and memorabilia, the Harper story could not have been written. Now, three books about Martha exist for the very young (Martha’s Magical Hair), the young adults (Martha the Hairpreneur), and the serious biography readers (Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream).

Plitt has been a champion advocate for small businesses, women, and social justice. She was chosen by SAVVY magazine as one of fourteen outstanding women in New York State and by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Small Business Advocate. She has authored articles and lectured internationally on creative marketing, economic development, social entrepreneurship, and women’s rights. She charms pre-k and elementary school students and inspires older students to develop their dreams whatever their hardships. Grown-ups soak up the forgotten leadership of the amazing Martha Matilda Harper. Her blog showcases how to use business for social change, just like Harper did and the relevance of Harper today.

Register Today!


Session Three: Friday, April 23 | 6pm

Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution

Author: KaeLyn Rich

About the Book:

Take on the world and make some serious change with this handbook to everything activism, social justice, and resistance. With in-depth guides to everything from picking a cause, planning a protest, and raising money to running dispute-free meetings, promoting awareness on social media, and being an effective ally, Girls Resist! will show you how to go from “mad as heck about the way the world is going” to “effective leader who gets stuff done.” Veteran feminist organizer KaeLyn Rich shares tons of expertise that’ll inspire you as much as it teaches you the ropes. Plus, quotes and tips from fellow teen girl activists show how they stood up for change in their communities. Grab this handbook to crush inequality, start a revolution, and resist.

All book club sessions are held virtually via Zoom

About the Author

g5sVIdTgKaeLyn Rich (she/her) is a queer feminist, a direct action organizer, a nonprofit leader, a word wrangler, and a professional speaker. Her community organizing experience dates back to stuffing folders for her parents’ union meetings around the dining room table. She’s an adoptee immigrant from South Korea, a comfort food foodie, and a persistent devotee of the serial comma. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a toddler T. rex, a xenophobic cat, a betta fish named Billy, and a rascally rabbit.

Photo credit: Erica Jae,

Register Today!

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