New UGA community reading program addresses race, ethnicity and community topics

President Jere W. Morehead has approved a multi-year community reading program that involves books addressing topics of race, ethnicity, and community, at the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community.

New UGA Reading Program Addresses Diverse Topics

For years to come, the University of Georgia community will have the chance to read and discuss books that promote the exchange of diverse ideas through a community reading program. 

“As we continue our work to create a more welcoming environment at the University of Georgia, this program will open doors for dialogue and understanding,” said Morehead. “These readings will provide a foundation to launch meaningful discussions on the important topics that the books will explore.” 

This will be a voluntary program for students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Participants are encouraged to read the selected books and take part in discussions and campus events. 

“As an institution of higher education, UGA can model the power of the written word to stimulate discussion across disciplines and to introduce our community to diverse viewpoints,” said Usha Rodrigues, University Professor and M.E. Kilpatrick Chair of Corporate Finance and Securities Law and member of the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community.

“Common reading programs have been known to provide structured engagement opportunities for students. The most impactful outcomes of these campus-wide efforts will be the organic conversations that will take place at dining hall tables, residence hall lobbies, or other places where students thrive,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Chair of the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community Victor K. Wilson. “I look forward to the ways that we will be able to infuse the readings into the ongoing programming for students planned across campus.

The first book that will be featured is “In My Place,” by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist, author, and iconic alumna of the University of Georgia. The institution is currently celebrating the 60th anniversary of when she, alongside the late Dr. Hamilton E. Holmes, became the first Black student to attend UGA.

“It is such a joy to participate in the discussion of my book, ‘In My Place.’ I look forward to sharing not just my story but the story of all who helped me do what I was born and raised to do,” said Hunter-Gault. “I also hope it will help inspire still another generation to meet life’s never-ending challenges with the confidence that they can overcome and contribute to helping create a better world.”

In conjunction with the Between the Pages book club hosted by the UGA Alumni Association, there will be a virtual book discussion with Hunter-Gault on March 24. The Student Alumni Council will work to distribute 500 free copies of the book in early February. These books will be made available through private funds from the Georgia Athletic Association earmarked for recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community.

Original Article: