About the program

Students discussing Common Book in a circle


The purpose of the KU Community Read program is to provide a platform for community conversations that center on grand challenges. Grand challenges are significant and complex issues that require concerted efforts to solve. The challenges typically transcend boundaries and affect multiple aspects of human life. Addressing grand challenges often requires interdisciplinary collaboration, innovative approaches, and long-term strategic planning. The KU Community Read program will generate opportunities to center grand challenges by selecting books that tackle relevant societal issues and prompt discussions that encourage discerning crucial details, deep consideration, empathy, and collective problem-solving among participants. The KU community will read and learn together in order to take action and solve problems. The program has three goals:  

  • Build community among students, faculty, and staff
  • Encourage intellectual engagement through reading, discussion, curriculum, and events
  • Create a shared conversation about topics and issues of significance in today’s world

The KU Community Read program is a shared experience among KU students in that it is integrated into general education courses that many students take.  In addition, the book is used in co-curricular activities such as small-group discussions and public speaker engagements.  Academic Affairs, the Libraries, and the Hall Center for the Humanities continue to partner to generate both curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with each year’s selection.    

2024-2025 Advisory Committee: