Each year incoming students participate in the Common Read, reading a shared text before arriving at Harris. The main goal is simple – to have all incoming students collectively share in a single learning experience while gaining an appreciation for diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and individual stories that not only impacts how you work together as classmates, but how you view the world as future policymakers. At Harris, we believe it is essential that future policymakers gain an understanding of the lived experiences of people who have been marginalized while also exploring related policy questions.

In consideration of this theme, this year’s Common Read selection is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which is “committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”

During the year, we will engage with the Common Read as a community through:

  • Small group discussions during orientation
  • A large group discussion during the Diversity Luncheon on September 27 that will include an impressive list of panelists  representing a variety of perspectives on the book. Diversity Luncheon aims to bring local, national, and worldly conversations regarding social justice to Harris through dynamic discussion exclusively for the Harris community
  • Orientation Leaders will be engaging incoming students in a variety of ways over the summer to help ensure that everyone is included in the Common Read process
  •  Discussions throughout the school year.

Through examining the text with their peers, students will gain deeper perspective on the issues they work to resolve in class.

Students can access an electronic version of the book here. Please check your email for instructions on how you can claim the text, and email [email protected] if you are having issues or can’t find the code.