Gloria Steinem Book in Common Community Kickoff Takes Place Sept. 29

Date: 09-08-2016

Joe Wills, Public Affairs
Sara E. Cooper, Spanish Faculty

Several events are planned this fall around the 2016-2017 Book in Common, My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem, including a community kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 29. The event will take place from 6-7 p.m. in front of the Chico Municipal Building, 411 Main Street. The Book in Common is a joint project of California State University, Chico; Butte College; the city of Chico; and Butte County.

My Life on the Road is a perfect example of the personal being political, as Steinem—a prominent leader of the Women’s Rights Movement—chronicles moments in her family and personal life that inspired her activism in the political arena. Through humorous and deeply moving anecdotes, the book proves the point that by working together, regular people can drive change, even given enormous obstacles.

Her stories of respectful partnering and learning from diverse sets of people offer models for a powerfully inclusive and collaborative structure. At the same time, Steinem’s recollections of her decades working the campaign trail in the pursuit of equal rights, especially during the last presidential elections, offer fascinating insights into our current political environment.

“Gloria Steinem has been at the forefront of so many social movements organizing for civil liberties,” said Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson. “In her book, My Life on the Road, Ms. Steinem reflects on her life journey with passion, candor and humor. We can all learn from her experiences.”

Another key component of Steinem’s story is her focus on and respect for diversity. As pointed out by Butte College President Samia Yaqub, Steinem’s activism has a decidedly multicultural emphasis, being inspired initially by Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent activism in India and always incorporating the particular struggles of minority women in the United States. 

The community kickoff event includes presentations by Hutchinson and Yaqub, as well as city and county officials, community dignitaries and student readers. The book will be available for purchase during the event at a Chico State Wildcat Store booth at the site.

A campus kickoff will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from noon-2 p.m. in Trinity Commons at Chico State.

The Book in Common is a shared community read aimed at promoting discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. It is chosen each year by a group of University faculty, staff and community members. As in past years, Butte College, Chico State, the City of Chico and Butte County will sponsor a variety of events in celebration of the Book in Common throughout the year, including panel discussions, lectures and other public events.

Past shared community reads have included Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande, The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers and Unquenchable by Robert Glennon.

Visit the Book in Common website,, for information on future events.

People needing accommodation in order to participate in any of these events or who have questions about accessibility should contact the Chico State Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.