2020-2021 Common Book

How to Be an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi

For the first time in the Department of Urban Design & Planning’s history, we have identified a Common Book. This book serves to create a platform for students, faculty, and staff to engage with one another in substantive dialogue regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion from a shared experience. We are pleased to announce that this year’s Common Book is How to Be an Antiracist, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller by author and historian Ibram X. Kendi.

Kendi is a leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. Beginning in July, he will join Boston University as a professor of history and founding director of its Center for Antiracist Research. He will also become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.

In his memoir, Kendi weaves together a combination of ethics, history, law and science to reshape the conversation about racial justice in America. He helps us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and challenges us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

We hope that this book will help further conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion within the Department of Urban Design & Planning. We also hope that it will offer students, faculty and staff an additional tool to expand their knowledge of the history of race and racism in the U.S. and to take steps to uproot racism in society, in our institution and in themselves.

Please join the Urban Design & Planning community in reading “How to Be an Antiracist” in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year. We will join our colleagues in the Health Sciences and the School of Social Work in a series of lectures, interactive discussions, advocacy efforts, and seminars that address issues raised in the book. Stay tuned for updates on the Health Sciences Common Book Facebook page!

The book is available to borrow for free as an ebook or print book for UW students, faculty, and staff through UW Libraries. (* update  8/21* There are a limited number of E copies available from the UW Library. While the SPL system has 322 e-copies available, the current wait time is 7 weeks) You may also purchase a print copy of the book, audiobook or ebook online or from your favorite bookstore. We encourage you to purchase a copy from a Black-owned bookstore, including our local Black-owned Estelita’s Library. Students who have financial hardship, please contact us at udp4all(at)uw.edu.

Author: Ibram X. Kendi
Publisher: Penguin Random House
ISBN – 9780525509288
Publication Date: 2019


Read about the work we did with the Common Book in 2020.