Community Read

The Simmons Community/First Year Read is designed to engage the campus community, generate robust discussions, and foster the exchange of different ideas and perspectives. The program takes place during the fall semester. Incoming first-year undergraduates receive a digital copy of the book and discuss it during their first-year seminar course, Simmons Explore. The Community Read program typically includes a book club, thematic panels, classroom discussions, and an author keynote and Q&A. For more information, email [email protected].

Community Read Nominations

If you are interested in recommending a book for the Community Read, fill out the Community Read Book Nomination Form. Nominations should meet the following criteria:

  • May be fiction, nonfiction, or memoir
  • Has the potential to engage students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i from different disciplines and backgrounds
  • Explores themes and topics that may be relevant to first year undergraduates
  • Illuminates broad social, environmental, and/or cultural topics
  • Encourages reflection and discussion in a variety of courses and contexts
  • Invites readers to consider topics from diverse perspectives
  • Books written by women-identified or non-binary authors of color and/or otherwise underrepresented authors are strongly encouraged. We will not consider books with heavy partisan politics.

Spotlight on the Community Read

Photo of Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi’s bestselling book, "How to Be an Antiracist," was selected as the Spring 2021 Community Read and the event’s central topic. President Wooten and Kendi discussed several themes from his book, including defining racism, intersectionality, and identity.