Dear New Bruin,
You are about to embark upon one of the most exciting chapters in your life as a member of the incoming first year class. As a UCLA student, you will have access to the very best of what a university can be—a diverse community of talented people who enrich our society every day through hard work, intellectual exploration and active participation in the community.
UCLA’s 2016–17 Common Book, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, is an early part of this great adventure.
Our Common Book program serves as a springboard to building community on our campus and encouraging Bruins to contribute to the larger community beyond UCLA. Between the World and Me was chosen by a committee representing UCLA First Year Experience, UCLA Residential Life and other campus partners, as well as students and faculty. It will give us all an opportunity to share and understand diverse perspectives in a respectful way, explore our roles in creating a just society and consider steps we can take in response to the lessons shared by this compelling story.
Written in the form of a letter from a father to his son, Between the World and Me is both a personal portrayal of what it means to be black in America and a powerful critique of racism and segregation throughout our country’s history. It offers a platform for us to engage in conversations around topics including race, American culture and history, the criminal justice system, the love that binds families and even the concept of college as a setting that inspires dialogue.
The discussions that will be prompted by our Common Book, however, are just the beginning. Active engagement at UCLA and within our larger community will be a critical part of your learning and of your success at UCLA and beyond. There are several avenues for involvement and endless ways to shape your experience at UCLA.
I encourage you to make the most of every opportunity UCLA offers as you continue on your path toward engaged global citizenship.
Welcome to the Bruin family!
Gene D. Block