The UU Common Read
A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. A Common Read can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations.
Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Common Read is chosen by a committee including both headquarters and field staff of the UUA. Anyone may nominate a book. Read the criteria for Common Read selection. Nominate a book for 2019-20 using our online form.
Common Read 2018-19
The Common Read Selection Committee is pleased to announce the 2018-19 Common Read: Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018).
At a time when racial justice, environmental justice, and economic justice are seen as issues competing for time, attention, and resources, Justice on Earth explores the ways in which the three are intertwined. Those on the margins are invariably those most affected by climate disaster and environmental toxins. The book asks us to recognize that our faith calls us to long-haul work for justice for our human kin, for the Earth and for all life. It invites us to look at our current challenges through a variety of different perspectives, offers tools to equip us for sustained engagement, and proposes multiple pathways for follow-up action. Justice on Earth is available at inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop. A discussion guide for congregations, offering both a single session and a three-session format, will be available online October 1, 2018.
Common Read 2017- 18
The challenges, the call, and the opportunity of this moment in Unitarian Universalism and in the broader US American society are compelling. Unitarian Universalists must be prepared and willing to look inward, examining, exploring, and acting to dismantle white supremacy culture in our association, in our congregations and groups, and in ourselves. At the same time, we must be prepared and willing to look outward and act to lift up Unitarian Universalist values in the political and civic challenges of our time. After much deliberation, the Common Read Selection Committee has chosen two books for this year’s Common Read:
- Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (Skinner House, 2017), centers the stories, analyses, and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious professionals of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities.
Download the discussion guide.
- Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, (Beacon Press, 2017) lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that has led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save our democracy and to take our civic life to a place it has never been.
Download the discussion guide.
Centering offers help with the inner work of today’s Unitarian Universalism; Daring Democracy provides a vision and practical guidance for advancing our justice-making work in the public square. We invite you to make time to read both, and to work with others to organize discussion groups in your UU community.
Congregations, groups, and individuals may purchase both books from inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop; bulk discounts are available. Both are also available as ebooks.
The 2017-18 Common Read selections each have a discussion guide with plans for facilitating a single-session group as well as a three-session, more-in depth series for Unitarian Universalist faith communities.
Download the discussion guide for Centering.
Download the discussion guide for Daring Democracy.
Optional slides (PowerPoint file) are available for each discussion guide for those who prefer to project questions and prompts than to write them on newsprint. Download questions and prompts slides for Centering. Download questions and prompts slides for Daring Democracy.
Share your congregation's participation in this year's Common Read.