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Announcing the One Book One U selection for 2020-2021:
Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race.
one book, one u, book cover and author photo


As many of you know, 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.   

As we approach the 2020-21 academic year, the UM community continues to feel the effects of our nation’s struggle with racial justice and our society’s general reluctance to address institutional racism, the concept of white privilege, and police brutality.  For people of color in particular, the societal wounds are profound and demand the attention of every member of our community.  As such, our selection committee, comprised of representatives from every school/college, the student body, and other key stakeholders, decided to reopen the selection process, seeking to amplify the voices of Black authors and to identify a text that directly addresses racial injustice.  After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce our next One Book, One U selection: So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo.  According to reviewer, Dave Zirin, “Oluo does more than deliver tough, blunt truths about the realities of racism, power and oppression. She also, in bracing fashion, offers a vision of hope; a message that through dialogue and struggle, we can emancipate ourselves from what she calls 'the nation's oldest pyramid scheme: white supremacy.'”

Although the One Book, One U program has been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion since its inception, this unique moment in history presents an opportunity to discuss racism in a very explicit way and we are privileged to offer the program as a university-wide platform for the important (and uncomfortable) conversations that must take place.  We are grateful for the support we’ve received from the Provost’s Office and from University of Miami Libraries, which will allow us to expand our programming and increase our presence.  As you may have seen in the President’s July 1st message, we are pleased to build on the strong foundation that our committee has constructed and contribute to the university’s efforts to pursue racial justice.  Examples of our increased measures include introducing the book to new students at Orientation, increasing the number of free copies available to students, offering a faculty reading group in the fall, and expanding our instructors’ guide for faculty interested in incorporating the text into their curricula.

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 next 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.   

Related Links:


 One Book, One U Comittees:
One Book, One U Program Committee:
Chantel Acevedo, Ava Brillat, Meg Homer, Miriam Lipsky, Roxane Pickens
Selection Committee:
Chantel Acevedo, Matt Acevedo, Traci Ardren, Beth Bair,
Germane Barnes, Nancy Brady, Ava Brillat, Melissa Burley,
Melvin Butler, Marisol Capellan. Angela Clark,
Sheila Crow, Renee Dickens Callan, Osamudia James, Leslie Knecht
Laura Kohn-Wood, Dia Kontaxis, Miriam Lipsky, Roxane Pickens
Zach Schwartz, Brice Sewell, Chinoia Weir


UM Libraries
Office of Institutional Culture
Center for the Humanities
Creative Writing Program
The Law School
Department of English
College of Arts and Sciences
Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas
Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Cosford Cinema
Center for Communication, Culture, and Change
Modern Languages and Literature
Lowe Art Museum
Sigma Tau Delta
Planet Kreyol
Educational and Psychological Studies/Human and Social Development Program
School of Education and Human Development
Women's Commission
The Creative Writing Ambassadors