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Community Reads: Spring 2020 | Freedom is a Constant Struggle

A guide to the Community Reads program at UWB/CC Campus Library

Spring 2020 Online Programming

Hello Campus Community -

Due to the campus closure and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the members of our community, Community Reads will be offering our spring programming online, with options for asynchronous discussion and a synchronous event.

We are thrilled to announce that we were able to host an online student panel as a synchronous event this quarter. Several students involved in activism on campus joined us for a virtual panel event on Thursday, May 28 to discuss their inspiration and their work. Though the event is over, a recording will still be available for a limited time. Please see our "Online Event" section for details.

We are also continuing our work with Angela Davis's book Freedom is a Constant Struggle (available as an e-book through the library catalog). This quarter, we invite you to read Chapter 3, "We Have To Talk About Systemic Change."  Book discussion and reflection will be held in an online, asynchronous format through Canvas. We have organized content, resources, and discussion questions from this quarter's chapter focus into a course that faculty, staff, and students can use as needed. Online discussions will be open to all with a UW NetID (for Cascadia community members who do not have a NetID, please visit the CC Computing Services NetID website to get started). Please visit the Canvas page for more information if you are interested in participating in discussions, watching some video clips, or submitting to our Community Reads zine.

Chapter 3 summary: In this chapter, Angela Davis and Frank Barat discuss systemic racism, the idea that racism is built into the systems and institutions of today’s society. Davis argues that though we often attempt to portray acts of racism and injustice as individual acts with a single perpetrator, the entire apparatus is built on an unjust system – and racism cannot be eradicated until we change that system. She provides some examples of concrete changes that could be made to that system – and examples of mass movements that have made noticeable changes. Finally, she moves into discussing the future of activism and organizing, arguing that intersectionality and community are some of the key factors that will determine the way activist movements function going forward.

We have chosen to highlight the ideas of systemic injustice and structural change, with a particular focus on activism and especially student activism. We invite you to view the UW Bothell Student Diversity Center Digital Archives for examples of work done by activists on our campus - and please watch the panel event to learn about some of the work being done right in our community now.

We look forward to your participation this quarter in whatever capacity you can, whether that's engaging in discussion with us on Canvas or attending our panel event. In the meantime, we're thinking about you all and hoping you're staying healthy and safe.

- The Community Reads Team

Access e-Book & e-Audio

Thank you to the UW Race and Equity Initiative & UWB VCAA for providing funding for previous books.

View the e-book. Or, order online when you can!

Related Online Events

Additional Resources

Further Reflections

Community Reads Team Contacts: 2019-20

Contact members of the team via email with questions, comments, or concerns:

UWB/CC Campus Library Community Reads logo

Online Event - Student Activism

undefinedCommunity Reads was proud to present an online student panel for our spring event! In honor of the quarter's theme of activism and change-making, we assembled a panel of students engaged in activist work on campus to talk about their experiences.

Visit our Student Activism Event module of our Canvas course to learn more including info about our collaborators and a space for reflection and discussion of the event.

Event Details:

Time: Thursday, May 28 from 2:00-3:00 PM

Event Access: Zoom Link

NOTE: This event will be restricted only to those with a UW NetID. If you are from Cascadia and do not yet have your NetID, please visit the CC Computing Services NetID website to get started.

If you are from Cascadia and asked to login with an email address, use the following format: 


COVID-19: Resources and Impacts

We understand that the current public health crisis has inspired a great deal of fear, uncertainty, and instability - in all of us, but especially in the most vulnerable populations among us. To that end, we are compiling a list of current resources highlighting the systemic inequalities that COVID-19 is revealing or worsening, to increase our awareness of what members of our community may be going through. In the spirit of this quarter's focus on activism, we will also add a list of organizations working to support these vulnerable communities, or actions that we can take to aid them. This list will be a living document, expanding as we find new information or new movements begin to surface. If you have suggestions for articles or resources we should add, please email any or all of us.

COVID-19: impacts on marginalized communities

We have also created a module in our Canvas course highlighting this resource list and discussion questions surrounding impacts of and community responses to COVID-19. If you are able, we welcome you to engage in discussion with us there.

Thank you for your patience as we work to adapt our program to this changing situation, and stay safe.

Spring 2020 Focus & Related Materials

Freedom is a Constant Struggle, by Angela Davis

Chapter 3: We Have to Talk About Systemic Change (Davis interview 2014)

eBook: Chapter 3 can be accessed through the library's eBook copy. Unlimited user access.

e-Audio: Click "Play Now" and then create an account with RB Digital to access.

Canvas: Visit our Spring 2020 Course to participate in discussions.

Quarter focus: student activism, neoactivists, black feminism, intersectionality, movements

Related Materials

UW Bothell Student Diversity Center Archive

Listen to a sample from the archive! - Interview with former UWB black student union president, Dominick Juarez, who helped advocate for the opening of the Diversity Center

Further resources:

Discussions and Activities

This quarter's discussions and reflection activities will take place online, in a Canvas course designed to facilitate engagement with one another and the material of chapter 3. We are hoping that instructors and supervisors can incorporate this course, or portions of this course, into their classes and programs. The course includes:

  • Introductory material
  • 4 thematic modules rooted in the text of the chapter.  Each module has resources and discussion spaces.
  • An opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to contribute to our Community Reads Zine
  • Resources and discussion space related to COVID-19’s impact on marginalized communities.  

For Faculty and Staff

There are a variety of ways you may be able to integrate these Canvas materials into your own work.  Ideas include:

  • Invite students to participate in the entire course or specific modules for extra credit
  • Import specific modules of the course into your own courses
  • Assign the Zine activity as an assignment in your course.
  • Invite the staff or student employees you supervise to engage with the resources of the course and participate in activities and discussion spaces.

Visit our For Faculty page for more ideas and information.


If you have another idea for how to use this material, or have questions on how to implement any of the ideas above, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  

Our Goals

Our goals for the Community Reads program are to:

  • Build community through a common intellectual experience.
  • Promote engagement with thoughtful, noteworthy works of literature or scholarship related to issues of equity and social justice across the UWB/CC campus and community.
  • Offer instructors an opportunity to invigorate curriculum with vital issues and community conversation.



The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, and activities. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made 10 business days prior to the event to the Community Reads Team. Or, email contact of all members are on the left hand menu of this website.