UUA Names Two Books as this Year's Common Read
Each year, a committee of the UUA selects a book to be the Common Read. Having one common book that individuals and congregations can read together along with a study guide 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.
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, analysis, and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious leaders of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities. Centering offers help with the inner work of today’s Unitarian Universalism
- Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, (Beacon Press, September 2017) lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save the democracy we thought we had and to take our civic life to a place it has never been. 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.
In addition to providing a study guide and a way on the UUA website for congregations to share their events related to the Common Read, this year we have a special opportunity to involve the authors of Daring Democracy in a conversation. UU religious leaders are invited to meet Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, co-authors of Daring Democracy, hosted by the UUA and Beacon Press from 11 a.m. to noon (Eastern) on Wed., Sept. 20 at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA and via live webcast. Learn more about the Common Read program and the books selected at the UUA website. You can also find past Common Reads and their resources. Past common reads include The Third Reconstruction, Just Mercy, Reclaiming Prophetic Witness, Behind the Kitchen Door, The New Jim Crow, Acts of Faith, and The Death of Josseline.