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Common Read Looks at Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Common Read Looks at Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander has been selected as the 2012–2013 Unitarian Universalist Association Common Read (UUACR). Alexander, an attorney who is a civil rights advocate and litigator, writes about how the “war on drugs” and the incarceration system fall disproportionately and intentionally upon Americans of color, resulting in lifelong discrimination and disenfranchisement of those who have been branded “felon.”

Alexander’s presentation at General Assembly 2012 on her book drew a large crowd. Congregations and other groups are invited to include The New Jim Crow in upcoming programming. A discussion guide will be online by early October. Plans will be offered for a single 60-minute session and for a series of three 60-minute sessions.

A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. Previous UUA Common Read books were The Death of Josseline by Margaret Regan and Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel. The Common Read page on offers more information about the program and about this selection. You can also find discussion guides and information about the two past Common Reads and get a sense of the program and how it might work UUACR in your setting.

Congregations have found Common Read books useful in lifespan education, small group ministry programs, in book groups, and as a worship topic.

The UUA Bookstore is supporting this Common Read with a ten percent discount on orders of five to nine books and twenty percent off orders of ten or more books. The book is $19.95. It is also available online as an e-book and in public libraries. The book was selected by a UUA staff committee. It was published in 2012 by The New Press.

About the Author

  • Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

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