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 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, the Libraries are uniquely positioned to ensure that the program continues to have a significant impact across our campuses.
In 2022-23, One Book, One U will enter its sixth year of encouraging understanding and action on a range of interrelated social justice issues. Paramount among these is the crisis of climate change, a topic that has particular urgency for South Florida and Miami. The University of Miami has a deep commitment to building knowledge and action around environmental sustainability, and many University stakeholders are invested in teaching, research, and service in this area, including within the newly-formed Climate Resilience Academy. One Book, One U is excited to add to these efforts through the selection of year’s common read, “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World” by Jeff Goodell. A powerfully-written study of the global effects of climate change by one of the world’s leading environmental journalists, Goodell’s book has been lauded by reviewers like Jennifer Senior at “The New York Times,” who writes that “The Water Will Come” is “an immersive, mildly gonzo and depressingly well-timed book about the drenching effects of global warming, and a powerful reminder that we can bury our heads in the sand about climate change for only so long before the sand itself disappears.”
Through various activities and events in the 2022-23 academic year, we look forward to reaffirming One Book, One U’s mission to use shared reading and engagement to attend to the interrelated issues of climate change, structural racism, inequality, and other social justice concerns. 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.