For book lovers in our region, the announcement of the guest author at the Mills Distinguished Lecture at the State University of Oneonta is highly anticipated.  This lecture, held on campus but open to the general public, has featured some of the most popular and recognizable names in literature over the years.  The "Common Read" finds the whole campus community reading and sharing the same book, which are available for free to the students.

For its 2021 Common Read, the college has chosen Dashka Slater’s New York Times best-seller and non-fiction narrative The 57 Bus, which recounts an assault on a municipal bus in Oakland, California, and how it affected its perpetrator and victim, both teens. The 57 Bus earned the 2018 Stonewall Book Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. Slater is an Oakland-based writer and journalist. She has received the Wanda Gag Read-Aloud Award and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her reporting has appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones.

Dashka Slater will deliver the 2021 Mills Distinguished Lecture on Monday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. The Common Read website will be updated regularly with more details on the lecture (including venue) and information on supplemental Common Read programming for students, faculty and staff.

Complimentary copies of the Common Read book The 57 Bus are available to the campus community at the Damascene Book Cellar, located in the Red Dragon Outfitters Building.

SUNY Oneonta’s Common Read advances diversity by encouraging students to examine and better understand topics such as equity, inclusion, and personal history through many lenses. It aims to further infuse cultural literacy into our academic program by asking the campus community to read a diversity-related book, which then is discussed in fall courses across several disciplines.

We encourage everyone i our area to circle October 18 on their calendar and to attend this great annual literary event at SUNY Oneonta.

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