The One Book, One U program offers an opportunity for the UM community to explore issues of diversity and inclusion through the reading of a selected text. One Book, One U is designed to engage the entire university community in dialogue about the human experience. Each year, we work with various campus partners and co-sponsors to offer a schedule of events related to the book’s theme, including a signature event with the author, traditionally held in the spring semester. Free copies of the book are often made available at select events and will be advertised in the below schedule as details become available. We encourage instructors to use the text in their classrooms whenever possible and for all UM community members to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with classmates, friends, and instructors.
The University of Miami has supported the One Book, One U program since 2017 when Professors Chantel Acevedo (English) and Osamudia James (Law) received a SEEDS grant to establish a common reading program. The Office of Institutional Culture then became a strategic partner, citing the program’s alignment with the Quad Report for the Culture of Belonging and the program continued its mission of promoting discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2020, University of Miami Libraries (UML) announced their plans to become the official home for the One Book, One U program. As a central entity serving all members of the university community, UML is uniquely positioned to ensure that the program continues to have a significant impact across our campuses.
As we approach the 2021-22 academic year, the UM community continues to feel the effects of the pandemic, struggling to cope with a myriad of social and economic issues illuminated by the global health crisis. As we attempt to address deep-rooted systems of oppression and consider pressing economic issues such as a living wage and affordable housing, our selection committee recognizes the importance of offering a venue for discussion and understanding. As such, the committee, comprised of representatives from every school/college, the student body, and other key stakeholders, has chosen Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond as our next One Book, One U text. According to reviewer, Katha Pollit, “By examining one city through the microscopic lens of housing, …[Desmond] shows us how the system that produces…pain and poverty was created and is maintained. I can’t remember when an ethnographic study so deepened my understanding of American life.”
We look forward to reaffirming the One Book, One U program’s mission to attend to concerns of race, ethnicity, equity, and inclusion through various programming in the 2021-22 academic year. As in the past, we will send an invitation to units on campus to submit ideas for programming related to the book’s themes and we will provide updates on the program as they become available.