Join all health sciences students in reading this year’s common book, engage in discussions about what an anti-racist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

Each year, the Health Sciences Service Learning & Advocacy Committee selects a Common Book that serves as a platform for students from across health professions to learn together on topics of common importance. Throughout the school year students have the opportunity to participate in a series of lectures, interactive discussions, advocacy efforts, and seminars focused on the major topic(s) of the book.

In this year’s common book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, National Book Award-winning author, Ibram X. Kendi points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

Common Book Events & Opportunities to Learn Together

Ibram X. Kendi in a gray suit with his book

Anti-Racism in Action for Healthcare Professionals: A three-part series

This three-part lunchtime series will provide students, staff, and faculty with the opportunity to engage in interprofessional discussion and reflection around Dr. Kendi’s work. We encourage participation in all three sessions, as content will build and deepen.

Sign Up

More Information

The series intends to provide a platform to build awareness, reflect and focus on individual and collective action as members of the UW health sciences community. Throughout the quarter we will frame discussion around chapters 7-12 from How to be an Antiracist. 

Series Dates Winter 2021:

  • January 19, 12:30-1:20pm, chapters 7 & 8
  • February 2, 12:30-1:20pm, chapters 9 & 10
  • February 16, 12:30-1:20pm, chapters 11 & 12

Health Sciences Social Justice Film Series

A number of films and structured discussion groups will be offered throughout the academic year on themes aligned with this year’s common book.

Sign Up

More Information

This is intended to be a more accessible, less time-intensive approach for faculty, staff and students across disciplines to learn, reflect and discuss these issues and their relevance to health and healthcare. The film series is a collaboration between CHSIE and the Dr. Sharona Gordon (School of Medicine Faculty). Films and discussion formats are designed by a committee of students, staff and faculty from across the health sciences.


Photo collage of diverse people

Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) Workshops for Health Sciences Faculty & Staff

These trainings will take place in cohorts throughout the year. IGD is a communication technique that facilitates dialogue across group differences.

Faculty & Staff Sign Up

More Information

The goal for training is to increase faculty and staff members’ cultural proficiency using the IGD framework by increasing their ability to hold difficult conversations (about race, class or gender, for example) between and among different groups. Skilled trainers, who are also faculty in social work and public health, will lead these trainings.

Pen and notebook

Storytelling Workshop: Racism & Healthcare

Join students from across professions for this series of virtual workshops that will be facilitated by Ngozi Oparah of StoryCenter, in collaboration with Nurstory and Dr. Josephine Ensign (School of Nursing Faculty).

Sign Up

More Information

This project believes that the telling of stories is an act of justice and has agency to transform.Two of the four sessions will be reserved for BIPOC students only.
Workshop Dates:

  • Friday October 16th, Noon-2pm PST (all students)
  • Thursday October 22nd, 5-7pm PST (BIPOC students only)
  • Friday October 30th, Noon-2pm PST (all students)
  • Thursday November 5th, 5-7pm PST (BIPOC students only)


About the Author

IBRAM X. KENDI is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC. A professor of history and international relations, Kendi is a contributor at The Atlantic and CBS News. Kendi is a Professor of History and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is the author of THE BLACK CAMPUS MOVEMENT, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. His third book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and made several Best Books of 2019 lists.

You can watch Dr. Kendi speak on Ted, or share space with him locally during the Seattle Arts and Lecture Series event on April 7, 2021 at 7:30pm. Tickets are on sale, with discounts available for students!

Copies of the book are available on reserve through the Health Sciences Library, or you can purchase from your favorite bookseller. Students who have financial hardship, please contact Leonora Clarke (