CSU, Chico News

Book in Common for Academic Year 2016-17 Announced

Date: 04-14-2016

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg and Butte College President Samia Yaqub announced today that the Book in Common for Academic Year 2016-17 will be “My Life on the Road,” by renowned feminist leader, Gloria Steinem.

“The Book in Common Program continues to be an excellent partnership among Chico State, Butte College, the city of Chico and county of Butte,” said Zingg. “We are once again happy to join with our community partners to announce the next Book in Common. The Book in Common represents an outstanding opportunity for Butte College and Chico State to work together and reinforce the values of literacy, dialogue and civic engagement.”

Gloria Steinem remains one of the leading voices of equality for women. At age 81, Steinem continues to inspire, using her memoir to reflect back on a career of activism and writing that now spans half a century. In the words of Kirkus Reviews, “My Life on the Road” is “illuminating and inspiring,” and “an invigoratingly candid memoir from a giant of women’s rights.” Author Anne Lamott calls Steinem “a deeply revolutionary woman” who “changed America in a fundamental way without being damaged by it or losing her joy,” and says that “My Life on the Road” is “soul material, human and political, funny and touching, deeply spiritual.”

Zingg calls “My Life on the Road” a particularly appropriate choice given that incoming President Gayle Hutchinson will be the first woman president of Chico State. “What better selection for the Book in Common than a book that chronicles the struggles for equality still faced by women, while celebrating women’s continuing path-breaking achievements?”

Yaqub pointed out that Steinem’s activism has a decidedly multicultural emphasis to it, being inspired initially by Gandhi’s non-violent activism in India, and always incorporating the particular struggles of minority women in the United States.

The Book in Common is a shared, community read, designed to promote discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. “The struggle for women’s rights has a long history in America,” said Zingg, “with many goals of gender equity still unrealized. Steinem’s story brings the recent history of feminism alive in a very personal way, helping inform students at both Butte College and Chico State who may be unaware of this struggle.”

“We expect ‘My Life on the Road’ to inspire important conversations about the many issues facing women in our own community and across the globe,” said Yaqub. “We hope that our students, staff and faculty can participate in discussions with the broader community to explore ongoing barriers that women face to full social and economic equality.”

The Book in Common is chosen each year by a group of university faculty and staff and community members. Past community reads include “The Distance Between Us,” by Reyna Grande, “Unquenchable,” by Robert Glennon and the current Book in Common, “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson.

As in past years, Butte College, Chico State, the city and county have sponsored a variety of events: panel discussions, lectures and other public events in celebration of the Book in Common. For more information on the Book in Common, see www.csuchico.edu/bic.