On the Same Page
In 2016, Simpson University faculty members launched a common reading program open to all students, faculty and staff, as well as to local community members. Called On the Same Page, the program is designed to align with the university’s mission to “develop the mind, faith and character” of students through reading, critical thinking, and community conversation.
A committee of students, staff, and faculty from different disciplines selects a book each summer for all participants to read and discuss in several community forums during the fall.
More than 325 colleges and universities sponsored a common reading experience in 2015. At Simpson University, the program's aim is to create a sense of academic and spiritual community among students, faculty and staff; establish and model university-level academic expectations and intellectual engagement; and provide the Simpson community an opportunity to understand diverse perspectives.
2017 book selection and discussion dates
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy is a nonfiction exploration of criminal justice in America. More specifically, it looks at the history of the death row system and how it is administered in the South. Just Mercy investigates themes of justice, race, class, activism, and grace, and asks provocative questions about the way these themes apply to our legal system. This text provides an opportunity to discuss many pressing contemporary issues in a grounded, relevant way.
Just Mercy was recently mentioned as a top nationwide common reading selection in a New York Times article.
The book will be discussed in three forums featuring special guest speakers.
Oct. 12 (Thurs) • 6 to 7:30 p.m. • LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 204
Speaker: Dr. Todd Allen, special assistant to the president and provost for diversity affairs and professor of communication at Messiah College (Penn.). Dr. Allen founded The Common Ground Project, a community-based nonprofit that promotes an understanding of the civil rights movement. A recipient of the Fellowship of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at Yale University, The New Pittsburgh Courier 50 Men of Excellence, Minority Opinion Magazine Achiever Award, and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award, Dr. Allen has led a bus tour, “Returning to the Roots of Civil Rights,” which visits key sites of the movement in the South.
Oct. 21 (Sat) • 1 to 2:30 p.m. • LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 204
Speaker: Randy Grounds, a commissioner with the California Board of Parole Hearings. Grounds was appointed to his current role by Gov. Brown in 2016, and has served as chief deputy warden at the Correctional Training Facility at Soledad and California State Prison Solano, in addition to numerous other roles within the state correctional system.
(Nov. 2) A panel discussion with Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker; Shasta County Public Defender Jeffrey Gorder; and Yolo County Supervising Probation Officer Zachary Grounds. The panel will be Nov. 2 (Thurs) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 204.
Past book selections and media:
2016: Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
- 09.02.2016 - Simpson Invites Community to Common Reading Program
- 10.17.2016 - Simpson to Host Second Discussion of ‘Frankenstein’
- 11.28.2016 - Simpson Invites Readers to ‘Frankenstein’ Finale