Each year, SP2 selects a book to be read by students, faculty, and staff prior to the start of the academic year. School-wide events focusing on themes from the One Book will occur during the academic year, beginning in August 2021.
SP2 obtained additional resources in June 2020 to implement the One Book initiative via Penn’s Excellence Through Diversity Fund (ETDF). The Fund provides resources for innovative interdisciplinary projects of Penn faculty on topics relating to diversity and inclusion. The ETDF will also be used to provide a stipend for an inaugural Race and Social Change Student Fellow from SP2 to assist with designing and implementing the One Book activities and discussions that will take place throughout the next year.
The One Book, One SP2 initiative is part of a larger set of recommendations and an action plan for SP2’s vision of promoting social justice. It is aligned with Penn’s Compact 2022 “which motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities.”
Current One Book
The Advisory Committee on Race and Social Justice is excited to announce the selection of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, as the One Book, One SP2 choice for Academic Year 2021 – 2022. This book poignantly describes how the caste system originated, has been used in India, Nazi Germany, and the United States and still maintained today. Caste has implications for issues of inclusion, diversity, and social justice.
The Advisory Committee surveyed SP2 students, faculty, staff, and alumni for the One Book selection. Responses included reasons for selecting the nominated books and suggestions for ways they could be integrated in course work and school events. This information was carefully reviewed by the Advisory Committee, leading to a consensus in selecting the One Book.
You can access Caste from the Penn Library. Currently, access is limited to one user at a time.
Former Book Selections
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
Find resources related to the One Book series here.