We offer these suggested readings based upon the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual Common Read program. 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 congregation and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations.

2019-20 UUA Common Read

Book jacket for "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States"

This year’s Common Read Selections are An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015) and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, 2019).

Upending myths and misinformation that have been promulgated by leaders and media, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States asks readers to reconsider the origin story of the United States taught to every US school child.

In 2020, our nation will approach the 400th anniversary of the much-mythologized encounter at Plymouth between colonists and those native to the land. Our own General Assembly 2020, in Providence, RI, will speak to the truths that contradict the mythology. At the same time, movements in response to global and local environmental emergencies, many involving UUs, are increasingly recognizing the connection between indigenous rights and climate justice. This Common Read invites you to learn the story of trauma and resilience that is the Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.

If you are not familiar at all with this history, we suggest that you read the version for young people. Note: the original version is available as an audio book.

Previous Common Reads

2018-19: Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom

2017-18:  Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema and Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen

2016-17:  The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

2015-16:  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

2014-15:  Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square  by Paul Rasor

2013-14:  Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayarama

2012-13:  The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

2011-12:  Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel

2010-11:  The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from Arizona’s Borderlands by Margaret Regan

More In Our Church Library

Check out our church library for these and other justice-focused books and DVDs. View our library catalog.